UN Network Q4 2017 Quarterly Update

 UN Network for SUN (UNN) communications, materials, meetings & events Lauren Landis, WFP Director of Nutrition, accepted to serve on the SUN Movement Executive Committee. The new UN Network for SUN website is now live! The website illustrates how the (collective) UN Network is supporting…

January 11, 2018 - Last update: July 4, 2022

 UN Network for SUN (UNN) communications, materials, meetings & events

  • Lauren Landis, WFP Director of Nutrition, accepted to serve on the SUN Movement Executive Committee.
  • The new UN Network for SUN website is now live! The website illustrates how the (collective) UN Network is supporting countries on the ground, and will be further elaborated in early 2018.
  • A UN Network global meeting was held in Abidjan on the eve of the SUN Global Gathering, with participation from UN colleagues from 40 countries and 7 agencies, as well as the UNSCN and the Global Nutrition Cluster. The meeting was organized by the UN Network for SUN (UNN) Secretariat.
  • The UN Network booth at the SUN Global Gathering Marketplace attracted a multitude of visitors, giving visibility to the work supported by the UN Network and other UN nutrition resources. The compilation of these UN materials is available at http://bit.ly/2hNztox, including a Table of Contents.
  • Likewise, a UN Network for SUN booklet was prepared and disseminated at the Global Gathering highlighting the status of the UN Network. The booklet also includes a dedicated section on REACH, profiling country achievements, among other developments.
  • The UN Network in Haiti recently developed and launched A Common UN Agenda on Food and Nutrition Security (2017-2021) in Haiti. Similarly, the UN Network in DRC launched a common UN Narrative on nutrition.
  • The UNN Secretariat co-facilitated and prepared a Note for the Record from the SUN Inter-network session that was held during the 2017 SUN Global Gathering. Representatives from business, civil society, donor and UN networks participated in the session and worked together to identify common barriers and boosters to inter-network collaboration and partnership within the SUN Movement.
  • On 12th December (English) and 13th December (French), a third UNN webinar was held in collaboration with the World Bank’s SecureNutrition platform. The webinar provided an overview of the new web-based UN Nutrition Inventory tool and how findings from the Inventory exercise can inform UN strategic planning retreats and the development of the UN Nutrition Agenda/Strategy in order to foster increased UN coherence on nutrition at the country level. Country examples from DRC, Myanmar and Mozambique were highlighted. The recordings and presentation slides are available online.

Developments at the UN Agencies and other UN nutrition bodies

  • On 5th December, a webinar was held in English on the joint FAO/WHO GIFT tool for members of the AREA CoP, with an emphasis on iron consumption. The recording of the webinar is available online.
  • Now available: French version of the FAO/INFOODS e-Learning Course on Food Composition Data (Cours d’apprentissage en ligne FAO/INFOODS sur les données sur la composition des aliments). The course is also available at www.fao.org/infoods/infoods/formation/fr.
  • FAO supported the Government of Kenya to document key recipes in support of good nutrition in a 1-month participatory process that concluded in mid-October. The knowledge will be integrated into the revised Kenya food composition tables and a recipe book.
  • Read UNICEF’s latest NutriDash monitoring report, which depicts the status of selected interventions to address malnutrition.
  • In early December, UNICEF joined other UN agencies and Member States by announcing its commitment to the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition (herein Nutrition Decade).
  • UNICEF’s December issue of Working to Improve Nutrition at Scale recapped the previous 2017 issues, which covered diverse themes from the Global Breastfeeding Collective to Nutrition in Humanitarian Action. To subscribe, kindly write to nutrition@unicef.org.
  • In October, UNICEF released a special issue of the Maternal and Child Nutrition international journal, entitled First Foods: Improving Diets in Early Childhood. The special issue includes 15 peer-reviewed articles, highlighting evidence and experiences in improving access to nutritious complementary foods and good complementary feeding practices.
  • UNICEF also recently developed a Committed to Nutrition toolkit, which includes guidance materials, country examples and other practical information on maternal and child nutrition to support their work in humanitarian contexts.
  • A new UNICEF report on Early Childhood Development (ECD) is available, entitled Early Moments Matter for Every Child. The report outlines the neuroscience of ECD, noting the importance of nutrition in the early years of life.
  • WFP developed a set of minimum standards for nutrition in emergency preparedness (NiE Minimum Standards) to operationalize the humanitarian tenets of the WFP Nutrition Policy. A Nutrition in Emergency Toolbox was also produced, providing WFP staff with related guidance, tools and resources. A Rapid Response Team was also formed to provide immediate surge capacity to respond to nutritional needs from the onset of a crisis.
  • WFP recently launched a new e-learning course, entitled “Nutrition-sensitive Learning Journey” which highlights opportunities to include nutrition objectives in WFP programmes from school meals to food for assets to cash-based transfers. A WFP and Breastfeeding e-learning course is also available, illustrating how breastfeeding promotion is included in WFP programming.
  • In addition, WFP has developed internal guidance essentials on nutrition-sensitive programming for “Unlocking WFP’s potential” in Arabic, English, French and Spanish. The guidance outlines the requirements and opportunities for better integrating nutrition into WFP programming.
  • WFP is supporting the Government of Tanzania to establish a ‘Catalyst Team’ in an effort to obtain real-time, nutrition data (including district-level data), both building upon existing data systems and strengthening the capacity of local governments to work better. This work is inspired by the Smart Simplicity management theory and other projects conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, a pro bono partner of WFP, in other countries. For further information, please contact nluitfrid@gmail.com.
  • A captivating piece in WFP Insight discusses how Fill the Nutrient Gap work in Pakistan has revealed that two-thirds of families cannot afford the cheapest nutritious diet in spite of the country’s thriving agricultural sector and rich culinary traditions.
  • A new WFP Report on The potential of Food Assistance for Assets (FFA) to empower women and improve women’s nutrition: a five country study is available.
  • In November, WFP disseminated the second issue of its nutrition newsletter – The Hub, profiling WFP’s work in nutrition, particularly among WFP colleagues worldwide.
  • WHO has launched the Global Nutrition Monitoring Framework country profiles for 194 countries. The profiles are accessible through the Nutrition Landscape Information System (NLiS).
  • WHO recently released a comprehensive report on the current nutritional status of countries in the WHO African Region vis-à-vis the WHA targets. The report highlights where action is needed to drive progress on the global nutrition targets for 2025 and Sustainable Development Goal No. 2.
  • WHO also published a new publication, Nutritional anaemias: tools for effective prevention and control. This reference document aims to help Member States and their partners make informed decisions on the appropriate actions to prevent and control nutritional anaemias.
  • In addition, WHO organized a 3-day technical meeting (29th-1st Dec.) in Geneva on the use and interpretation of haemoglobin concentrations for assessing anaemia status in individuals and populations.
  • In early December, the UNSCN circulated its Fall 2017 Quarterly Update, highlighting recent discussion papers and other developments.
  • A new UNSCN Discussion Paper is available (in English) on Schools as a System to Improve Nutrition. All of the UNSCN publications are posted on the UNSCN Publications
  • The UNSCN released a Guidance Note on Integration of Nutrition in The United Nations Development Assistance Framework. The guidance encourages users to utilise other resources in conjunction with the new UNSCN guidance note, such as the 2017 UNDAF Guidance and related documents on the UNDG website as well as tools provided by the UN agencies and the UN Network for SUN, including REACH.
  • The UNSCN held a face-to-face meeting with its members on 16th November in Rome, Michel Mordasini’s last as chair of UNSCN before the conclusion of his term as Vice-President of IFAD.
  • A 5-day Nutrition Cluster/Sector Coordinators training was conducted from 30th October to 3rd November in Istanbul.
  • The Global Nutrition Cluster (GNC) annual meeting was held on 10-12th October in Geneva. Inter-cluster coordination and integrated action and priorities for engaging the nutrition cluster more effectively across the humanitarian and development continuum were among the topics of discussion.
  • A capacity assessment report is available on how nutrition service delivery sites have been geo-tagged to ascertain their functionality as part of the work of the Nutrition Cluster in Somalia. In addition, various country nutrition cluster updates were released, including on Yemen, Nepal and Syria.
  • Nominations are open for the following slots on the Global Nutrition Cluster’s (GNC) Strategic Advisory Group: 2 NGO partner seats, 1 UN partner seat and 1 seat representing cluster coordinators and IMOs (click here for further information). Kindly submit nominations to jippe@unicef.org and asaparbekov@unicef.org along with the requisite supporting documentation by 14 January 2018.

International nutrition meetings & events with considerable UN participation

  • On 13th December, WHO held a Member State briefing in Geneva on the work to develop risk assessment, disclosure and management tools to safeguard against possible conflicts of interest in policy development and implementation of nutrition programmes.
  • Various regional symposia on sustainable food systems for healthy diets were held following the international symposium last December, which was jointly organized by FAO and WHO. In addition, key messages, extracted from the outcomes of the International Symposium on sustainable food systems for healthy diets and improved nutrition, held in December 2016 in Rome, are now available online.
    • Asia: 10-11th November in Bangkok (jointly organized by FAO, WHO, WB, WFP, UNICEF & ASEAN IFPRI)
    • Africa: 16-17th November in Abidjan (jointly organized by the African Union, NEPAD, FAO, WHO, UNICEF, WFP, IFPRI, Africa Development Bank & ADFNS Secretariat)
    • Europe & Central Asia: 4-5th December in Budapest (jointly organized by FAO, WHO, UNICEF & WFP)
    • Near East and North Africa: 11-12th December in Muscat (jointly organized by FAO, WHO, UNICEF, WFP, the League of Arab States & IFPRI)
  • WFP presented on the topic of food and migration at the 8th International Food Forum in Milan (4-5th December), organized by the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition.
  • On 4th December, United Nations agencies in Spain organised a day to promote the 2030 Agenda, showcasing the Nutrition Decade. The event, held in Madrid, highlighted how the Nutrition Decade will be implemented in Spain.
  • WFP organised a 2-day workshop (30th November – 1st December) on synthesising the findings of the adolescent research that was carried out in 4 countries (Cambodia, Guatemala, Kenya and Uganda) with Anthrologica.
  • A rice fortification meeting was co-organized by the FAO, FFI, GAIN, HKI, NI, UNICEF and WFP. The workshop took place in Dakar on 27-28th November, bringing together various stakeholders to explore its potential role in reducing micronutrient deficiencies in West Africa.
  • Action Against Hunger hosted a Research for Nutrition conference on 13th November in Paris, where WFP was well-represented as portrayed in the conference posters.
  • The “Quality, Equity, DignityAdvocacy Working Group, part of the larger ‘Quality of (maternal, newborn and child) Care’ effort, held a meeting on 7-8th November in Geneva. During the meeting, UNICEF presented the Global Breastfeeding Collective scorecard and interactive data tools.
  • WFP hosted a second face-to-face meeting of the Council of Research and Technical Advice on Severe Acute Malnutrition (CORTASAM) on 30th-31st October, and participated in the second face-to-face meeting of the executive team of Wasted Lives Coalition along with UNICEF on 1st
  • On 30th-31st October, the 2017 EAT Asia-Pacific Food Forum was held in Jakarta, attracting a range of participants to address health and environmental challenges related to food in the region. UN colleagues played an active role in the event, with UNICEF and WFP having engaged in a side session on child diets, WHO having supported and presented a session on the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition and the REACH Facilitator in Myanmar having served as a panelist in a session on multi-stakeholder collaboration.
  • A Stakeholders Consultation on Adolescent Nutrition: Evidence, Guidance and Gaps was held on 30th-31st October in Washington D.C., which highlighted the need for gathering data and evidence on this cohort. The consultation was supported by PAHO, USAID, and SPRING and attended among others by UNICEF.
  • IPC (Integrated Phase Classification for analysis of Acute Malnutrition) Global Nutrition Technical Working Group met on 18th-21st October in Rome to review the IPC Acute Malnutrition Manual and Toolkit. The team also met with the IPC food security technical working group in an effort to harmonize the analysis, where applicable, and exchange knowledge.
  • The WHO global conference on NCDs was held in Montevideo, Uruguay on 18-20th October, where the Montevideo Roadmap was adopted. The theme of the conference was “Enhancing policy coherence to prevent and control noncommunicable diseases.” A special 2-hour session was dedicated to the Nutrition Decade and focused on the need for policy coherence across food systems.
  • On 16-17th October, a technical meeting for the 2018 Global Report on Food Crisis (GRFC) was held in Rome to outline the content and key information to be included in the report. Led by the Food Security Information Network, the meeting was attended by key partners such as FAO, UNICEF (the technical lead on the nutrition sections of the report), OCHA, WFP, EU, USAID and JRC.
  • Various nutrition-related side events were held at the margins of this year’s World Food Day (16th October), which focused on “Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development”.
  • The UN Agencies supported various sessions, events, etc. – often in collaboration with other institutions – as well as training courses that were held at the 12th International Food Data Conference (11-13th October) and the IUNS 21st International Congress of Nutrition (15-20th October) in Buenos Aires. Following the 12th International Food Data Conference in Buenos Aires, the Argentina INFOODS Declaration was developed, making the case for increased investment in food composition data and databases.
  • The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) dedicated a full day in Plenary (10th October) to nutrition (‘nutrition day’) during its recent 44th Further information about the CFS is available online.
  • The Rome-based Agencies (RBAs) – FAO, IFAD and WFP – organized a side event on Fostering Nutrition Mainstreaming through RBA Collaboration for Africa; Accelerating the progress of nutrition-sensitive investments at country level during the 44th session of the CFS.
  • WFP coordinated and co-organized a few side events to the CFS 44, including one on ‘Counting the Beans – Affording a healthy diet and nutritious food’ in collaboration with Member States (Pakistan and Madagascar), civil society, academia and the private sector.
  • On 3rd October, a webinar (in French) was held on the SMART/UNICEF collaboration, highlighting lessons learned on implementing SMART surveys in Sub-Saharan Africa. Among other topics, the webinar covered how coordination mechanisms and National Nutrition Information Systems were involved in these efforts.
  • In early October, WFP participated in the 2017 UJ Slow Food Soweto Eat-In event in Johannesburg, where eating good, clean and fair food was celebrated. WFP also served on a panel, where it spoke about the role of, particularly how it is helping to provide the people it serves with access to, sustainable and local food markets.
  • The Winter Edition of CFS Updates was circulated, which included highlights from the 44th CFS Session such as the report, the announcement of H.E. Ambassador Mario Arvelo, Permanent Representative of the Dominican Republic to the Rome-based UN agencies, as the new Chair of CFS and summaries of the side events.