Cover Image
close this bookFood Nutrition and Agriculture - 5/6 International Conference on Nutrition (1992)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentEditorial
View the documentÉditorial
View the documentEditorial
View the documentAllocution à la Conférence internationale sur la nutrition
View the documentAddress to the International Conference on nutrition 1
View the documentDeclaración ante la Conferencia Internacional sobre Nutrición 1
Open this folder and view contentsNutrition and development: a global challenge 1
View the documentNutrition et développement: Un défi mondial
View the documentNutrición y desarrollo: Un reto mundial
Open this folder and view contentsWorld Declaration on Nutrition 1
Open this folder and view contentsPlan of Action for Nutrition 1
Open this folder and view contentsInternational Conference on Nutrition: an overview and commentary
View the documentConférence internationale sur la nutrition: Vue d'ensemble et commentaire
View the documentConferencia internacional sobre nutrición: Una visión general y comentario
Open this folder and view contentsCodex Alimentarius
Open this folder and view contentsNews - Nouvelles - Noticias
View the documentBooks - Livres - Libros
View the documentGuidelines for authors
View the documentPrincipes à l'usage des auteurs
View the documentOrientaciones para los autores

(introduction...)

Alimentation, nutrition et agriculture - Conférence internationale sur la nutrition

Alimentación, nutrición y agricultura - Conferencia Internacional sobre Nutrición

Editorial

From 5 to 11 December 1992 the International Conference on Nutrition (ICN) was held at FAO Headquarters in Rome. Delegates from 159 countries and the European Economic Community and representatives of 144 non governmental organizations 11 intergovernmental organizations and 16 United Nations organizations participated in the far reaching and detailed discussions In unanimously adopting the World Declaration on Nutrition and the Plan of Action for Nutrition the delegates pledged their countries commitment to build upon their current agricultural and nutrition activities and to reduce global hunger and malnutrition.

His Holiness Pope John Paul II gave the inaugural address noting that access to food is an inalienable right and it is our task to ensure that sufficient food is available to everyone He observed that resources and technology must be shared and education and health guaranteed and he called for international solidarity.

Mr. Edouard Saouma Director General of FAO welcomed the delegates and stressed that many nutrition problems are linked to poverty. His address is presented in this issue Dr. Hiroshi Nakajima Director General of WHO noted that nutrition has claimed its rightful place in development policy in part as a result of the ICN process.

The delegates discussed obstacles to progress in reducing malnutrition voicing concerns about current trade practices debt burdens and structural adjustment They expressed alarm about current food emergencies and sought ways to ensure that food aid reaches those in need of relief The ongoing problems of food supplies in Africa received special attention from the ICN participants Delegates called for international cooperation and assistance from multilateral and bilateral agencies industry and non governmental organizations in their efforts to improve nutrition.

By informing our readers about the ICN we hope to stimulate discussion of ways to achieve the objectives of improving food supplies and nutritional well-being for all peoples.

Éditorial

La Conférence Internationale sur la nutrition (CIN) s'est tenue ou Siège de la FAO a Rome du 5 au 11 décembre 1992. Les délègues de 159 pays et de la Communauté économique européenne les représentants de 144 organisations non gouvernementales de 11 organisations gouvernementales et de 16 institutions des Nations Unies ont participe a un débat circonstancié et d'une portée considérable. Les délégués en adoptant à l'unanimité la Déclaration mondiale sur la nutrition et le Plan d'action ont fart savoir que leurs pays s'engageaient a renforcer leurs activités agricoles et nutritionnelles actuelles et a réduire la faim et la malnutrition dans le monde.

Sa Sainteté le pape Jean Paul II a noté dans son discours d'inauguration que le droit inaliénable à la nourriture est désormais reconnu et qu'il nous appartient de veiller à ce qu'il soit respecté. Il a fait observer que l’accès aux ressources et aux techniques, ainsi qu'à l’éducation et á la santé doit être garanti, et il a plaidé en faveur de la solidarité internationale á cette fin.

M. Edouard Saouma, Directeur général de la FAO, a souhaité la bienvenue aux délégués et a souligné que de nombreux problèmes nutritionnels sont liés á la pauvrette. Son allocution figure dans le présent numéro. M. Hiroshi Nakajima. Directeur général de l'OMS, a déclaré que la nutrition a réclamé la place qui lui est due dans la politique de développement, en partie á la suite des travaux de la CIN.

Les délégués ont examiné les obstacles qui entravent la réduction de la malnutrition et ont notamment exprime leur préoccupation quant aux pratiques commerciales existantes á l'endettement et al ajustement structurel lisse sont inquiètes des crises alimentaires actuelles et ont cherche a trouver les moyens permettant de faire parvenir l'aide alimentaire a ceux qui en ont besoin Les participants a la CIN ont accorde une attention particulière au manque de disponibilités alimentaires qui afflige aujourd'hui l'Afrique Certains délègues ont fart appel a la coopération internationale et a l'aide des institutions multilatérales et bilatérales de l'industrie et des organisations non gouvernementales pour appuyer leurs efforts visant a améliorer la nutrition.

Nous espérons que les informations données a nos lecteurs sur la CIN stimuleront le débat concernant les moyens propres a atteindre les objectifs d'amélioration des disponibilités alimentaires et de bien être nutritionnel pour tous les peuples.

Editorial

Del 5 al 11 de diciembre de 1992 se celebro en Roma en la Sede de la FAO la Conferencia internacional sobre Nutrición (CIN) Delegados de 159 países y de la Comunidad Económica Europeo así como representantes de 144 organizaciones no gubernamentales 11 organizaciones intergubernamentales 16 organizaciones de las Naciones Unidas participaron en el amplio v profundo debate que se desarrollo en esa oportunidad Al aprobar por unanimidad la Declaración Mundial sobre la Nutrición y el Plan de Acción los delegados se comprometieron en nombre de sus países a incrementar sus actividades en el sector de la agricultura y la nutrición y a reducir el hambre y la malnutrición a nivel mundial.

Su Santidad el Papa Juan Pablo II pronuncio el discurso inaugural en el que hizo notar que habiéndose establecido el derecho inalienable a los alimentos la tarea consiste en garantizar su aplicación efectiva El Papa observo además que debía asegurarse el acceso tanto a los recursos y la tecnología como a la enseñanza la salud e hizo un llamado a la solidaridad internacional.

El Sr. Edouard Saouma Director General de la FAO dio la bienvenida a los delegados y recordó que muchos problemas de nutrición están vinculados a las situaciones de pobreza El texto de su discurso se reproduce en el presente numero EL Dr. Hiroshi Nakajima Director General de la OMS hizo notar que la nutrición estaba reclamando un lugar adecuado en el ámbito de las políticas de desarrollo en parte gracias al proceso de preparación de la CIN.

Los delegados discutieron los obstáculos con que se tropezaba en el intento de reducir la malnutrición expresando sus inquietudes con respecto a las practicas comerciales vigentes, la carga de la deuda externa y las medidas de reajuste estructural Se manifestaron alarmados por las situaciones de urgencia alimentaria existentes y por asegurar que la ayuda alimentaria efectivamente llegara a los personas necesita das Asimismo solicitaron la cooperación y la asistencia internacional de los organismos multilaterales y bilaterales de la industria y dé los organizaciones no gubernamentales en pro de una mejor nutrición.

Al informar a nuestros lectores acerca de la CIN esperamos que ello sirva para fomentar el debate sobre las posibles maneras de alcanzar los objetivos de un mejor suministro alimentario y del bienestar nutricional de todos los pueblos.

Technical Editor/Rédacteur technique/Redactor técnico

J.L. Albert
Language Editors/Rédacteurs/Redactores

A. Perlis, N. Roland, F. Serván L.
Layout Editor/Mise en page/Compaginación

M. Criscuolo
Editorial Advisory Board/Comité de rédaction/Comité asesor editorial

J.R. Lupien, K. Richmond, A. Randell, M. Papetti, W.D. Clay

Food, Nutrition and Agriculture is published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Three issues are published annually with articles in English, French and Spanish. Free subscriptions may be obtained from the Technical Editor, Food Policy and Nutrition Division, FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy. Unless specifically copyrighted, articles and photographs may be reprinted. Two copies should be sent to the Technical editor and acknowledgement should be as follows: "reprinted from Food, Nutrition and Agriculture, the FAO world review of food policy and nutrition". Ideas expressed in signed articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of FAO. Mention of any firm or licensed process does not imply endorsement by FAO. The designations employed and the presentation of material in this periodical do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

La revue Alimentation, nutrition et agriculture est publiée par l'Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture (FAO). Elle paraît trois fois par an et contient des articles en français, en anglais et en espagnol. Des abonnements gratuits peuvent être obtenus auprès du rédacteur technique. Division des politiques alimentaires et de la nutrition, FAO. Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome (Italie). Sauf indication de droits réservés, les articles et photographies peuvent être reproduits à condition de porter la mention: «Repris de Alimentation, nutrition et agriculture, revue de la FAO consacrée aux politiques alimentaires et à la nutrition dans le monde». Prière d'envoyer deux exemplaires de toute reproduction au rédacteur technique. Les articles signés expriment les opinions de leurs auteurs et ne reflètent pas nécessairement celles de la FAO. La mention de toute société ou tout procédé breveté ne sous-entend pas l'approbation de la FAO. Les appellations employées dans cette publication et la présentation des données qui y figurent n'impliquent de la part de la FAO aucune prise de position quant au statut juridique des pays, territoires, villes ou zones, ou de leurs autorités, ni quant au tracé de leurs frontières ou limites.

Alimentación, nutrición y agricultura es una publicación de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación (FAO). Se publica tres veces al año y contiene artículos en inglés, francés y español. La suscripción gratuita a la vista podrá solicitarse al Redactor técnico, Dirección de Política Alimentaria y Nutrición, FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Roma, Italia. Salvo que se indique la reserva de los derechos de autor, los artículos y las fotografías podrán reproducirse siempre y cuando se declare lo siguiente: «reproducido de Alimentación, nutrición y agricultura, revista mundial de la FAO de política alimentaria y nutrición». Se ruega enviar dos ejemplares del texto reproducido al Redactor técnico. Las ideas expresadas en los artículos firmados son de sus autores y no reflejan necesariamente la opinión de la FAO. La mención de cualquier empresa o procedimiento autorizado no implica aprobación por parte de la FAO. Las denominaciones empleadas y la forma en que aparecen presentados los datos no implican, de parte de la FAO, juicio alguno sobre la condición jurídica de países, territorios, ciudades o zonas, o de sus autoridades, ni respecto de la delimitación de sus fronteras o límites.


A l'occasion de l'ouverture de la Conférence internationale sur la nutrition, M. Edouard Saouma, Directeur général de la FAO, M. Hiroshi Nakajima, Directeur général de l'OMS, et M. Ibrahim Adam, Ministre ghanéen de l'agriculture, Président du Comité préparatoire de la CIN, ont souhaité la bienvenue au Siège de la FAO au pape Jean-Paul II. - On the opening day of the International Conference on Nutrition, Pope John Paul II was welcomed to F A 0 Headquarters by the Directors-General of FAO and WHO, Edouard Saouma and Hiroshi Nakajima, and by Ibrahim Adam, Minister of Agriculture, Ghana, Chairperson of the ICN Preparatory Committee. - En la jornada inaugural de la Conferencia Internacional sobre Nutrición, el Papa Juan Pablo II fue recibido en la Sede de la FAO por (de izquierda a derecha) el Director General de la FAO, Sr. Edouard Saouma; el Director General de la OMS, Sr. Hiroshi Nakajima, y el Presidente del Comité Preparatorio de la CIN, Sr. Ibrahim Adam, Ministro de Agricultura de Ghana.

Allocution à la Conférence internationale sur la nutrition

Edouard Saouma

Directeur général de l'Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture

La FAO vit aujourd'hui un grand moment de son histoire. Pouvoir accueillir dans notre Organisation la première conférence mondiale consacrée à la nutrition constitue pour nous un grand honneur, C'est le couronnement de tous nos efforts passés. C'est, j'en suis sûr, les prémices d'engagements futurs d'une importance cruciale pour l'humanité tout entière.

Dans cette tâche et dans cet honneur, nous sommes associés à l'OMS. Nous sommes heureux et fiers que la communauté internationale ait confié à nos deux institutions sœurs le soin d'organiser ensemble ces assises. Il nous est donné ainsi de concrétiser le grand rêve que, dès 1935, Stanley Bruce proposait à la Société des Nations: réaliser «le mariage de la santé et de l'agriculture». Je me réjouis donc de saluer la présence à mes côtés de mon collègue, le docteur Nakajima, Directeur général de l'OMS.

Mais c'est en fait de tout le système des Nations Unies que cette conférence tient son mandat: 'ONU, certes, mais aussi la Banque mondiale, l'UNICEF, le PNUD et bien d'autres institutions. En effet, l'idée de cette assemblée est venue, à 'origine, d'un comité interinstitutions. Les membres de ce comité ont apporté une riche contribution a la préparation de ces assises et à l'élaboration de la Déclaration mondiale sur la nutrition et du Plan d'action qui vous sont soumis. Ces textes, auxquels nous espérons que vous réserverez le meilleur accueil, représentent la pensée de toute la famille des Notions Unies, Je me devais de lui rendre hommage au seuil de nos travaux.

Il reste que la décision de tenir cette assemblée a été mûrie et prise par les Etats Membres eux-mêmes. C'est pourquoi je suis heureux d'accueillir et de saluer chaleureusement les délégations de tous les pays qui participent à la Conférence.

Par sa conception même, celle-ci appelait également la participation active des organisations non gouvernementales; je constate avec joie la présence de très nombreuses ONG, dont les contributions ne manqueront pas d'enrichir nos débats. Je leur souhaite cordialement la bienvenue.

IMPORTANCE DE LA NUTRITION

Pour la première fois, une réunion mondiale va traiter d'un sujet qui ne peut laisser personne indifférente, puisqu'il touche à la survie même de l'humanité. On le sait depuis toujours, la nutrition conditionne la santé des individus et leur développement physique et mental donc leur capacité d'apprendre, de travailler, de jouer leur rôle dans la société. Il y a là un besoin réel et qui est le premier des droits de l'homme: le droit á une alimentation suffisante en qualité comme en quantité. Les grands textes qui énoncent les droits de l'homme n'en font état qu'incidemment, tant il paraît aller de soi. Mais, parfois, les vérités les plus évidentes demandent à être clairement proclamées; c'est pourquoi il convient de saluer la Déclaration de Barcelone, adoptée en mars 1992, qui, en réaffirmant solennellement à la face du monde le droit de tous les êtres humains a leur juste part de nourriture, en a précisé la nature et la portée.

Mon prédécesseur, B.R. Sen, a exprimé cela dans une formule très forte: «La faim d'un homme», disait-il, «est la faim de tous les hommes». Conséquence évidente; lorsque des hommes ont faim, venir à leur secours est un devoir pour tous et pour chacun.

AIDE ALIMENTAIRE

Quand on parle d'aide, on pense à l'aide humanitaire, on pense aux envois de médicaments, de personnel médical et de matériel, mais aussi, et peut-être surtout, d'aide alimentaire. A un certain moment, on a pu croire que les envois de vivres s'adressaient uniquement, ou presque, aux pays en développement. Pourtant, aide alimentaire n'a jamais cessé de jouer un rôle essentiel, même dans les pays les plus avancés: «food stamps» ici, «restaurants du cœur» la; de tels programmes demeurent indispensables dans beaucoup de pays pour soulager des dizaines de millions de personnes qui vivent au-dessous du seuil de pauvreté.

L'explosion des besoins

Aujourd'hui on assiste, malheureusement, à une véritable explosion des besoins, qui confère au problème une dimension universelle. Calamités naturelles, guerres civiles, effondrement des structures politiques et économiques se conjuguent pour réduire des populations entières à la famine et jeter des millions de réfugiés sur les routes de l'exode. On ne compte plus les foyers d'incendie. En Afrique, ils se multiplient: Ethiopie, Somalie, Soudan, mais aussi Angola, Mozambique, Liberia et combien d'autres. Les tragédies que connaît l'Asie ont gagné les anciennes républiques soviétiques, Les tensions et les affrontements qui éprouvent le Proche-Orient réduisent des centaines de milliers d'hommes, de femmes et d'enfants à la misère, à l'errance et à la faim. Même si, en ce moment, on parle un peu moins de l'Amérique latine, la malnutrition continue d'y faire d'horribles ravages. L'Europe elle-même voit reparaître ça et là des disettes, et voici que nous parviennent de ce qui fut la Yougoslavie les images insoutenables d'une barbarie que l'on croyait abolie à jamais: enfants mutilés et affamés, corps de prisonniers qui ne sont plus que des spectres ambulants.

Le devoir d'ingérence

De telles situations nous interpellent avec violence et engagent profondément notre responsabilité individuelle et collective. C'est un véritable devoir d'ingérence qui s'impose à nous, et nous ne pouvons nous y soustraire sans nous rendre coupables de non-assistance à personnes et à peuples en danger.

Les risques de l'aide alimentaire

Comme toute entreprise humaine, l'aide alimentaire n'est pas parfaite; elle est menacée par de graves périls: risque de discriminations fondées sur des motifs politiques ou autres; effets pervers sur la production locale; perturbation profonde des habitudes alimentaires; création d'un état de dépendance qui tend à se perpétuer, Il faut avoir conscience de ces dangers et s'en garder, mais cela ne diminue en rien la nécessité ou la valeur de l'aide alimentaire.

NUTRITION ET PAUVRETÉ

Si l'obligation morale de dispenser une telle aide nous est dictée par l'esprit de solidarité, ce sont toujours des situations concrètes de pauvreté affectant des personnes ou des peuples qui la rendent nécessaire, Dès 1943, les pères fondateurs de la FAO affirmaient, en effet, que «la pauvreté est la principale cause de la faim et de la malnutrition».

Pour promouvoir efficacement une bonne nutrition, il faut donc engager à tous les niveaux une lutte vigoureuse contre la pauvreté des individus et la pauvreté des nations. Au niveau des pays, cela suppose des politiques dynamiques en matière d'emploi, de logement, d'éducation, d'équipements collectifs, de services sanitaires et sociaux. Au plan international, les pays pauvres doivent obtenir des prix rémunérateurs pour les produits qu'ils exportent, afin de pouvoir se libérer du fardeau de la dette et acheter les biens de consommation et d'équipement dont ils ont besoin. Les pays dont les ressources ne leur permettent pas de progresser assez rapidement dans cette voie doivent recevoir 'aide qui leur permettra d'y parvenir.

L'INDUSTRIE AGRO-ALIMENTAIRE

Dans cet effort commun, chacun des partenaires a un rôle irremplaçable à jouer. Je me bornerai ici à évoquer brièvement celui de la grande industrie agro-alimentaire. Celle-ci est dans une large mesure entre les mains de puissantes multinationales, qui traitent la plupart des aliments consommés dans les pays du Nord et exportent vers le Sud, à côté de denrées indispensables, certains produits sophistiqués et coûteux. Leur puissance de production et de pénétration comporte donc des risques et appelle une vigilante action de protection du consommateur, l'OMS et la FAO s'y emploient, en particulier en élaborant et édictant un ensemble de règles et de normes regroupées sous le nom de Codex Alimentarius et qui ont pour objet de protéger efficacement la santé du consommateur.

Il n'en reste pas moins que cette industrie remplit une fonction primordiale pour nourrir l'humanité, et qu'il serait à la fois injuste et dangereux de la condamner en bloc. Je suis au contraire persuadé que l'on obtiendra des résultats bénéfiques en engageant avec elle un dialogue constructif auquel devront participer consommateurs, médecins et nutritionnistes aux côtés de représentants des pouvoirs publics et des organisations internationales.

L'ACTION DE LA FAO

Quant au rôle de la FAO à l'égard de la nutrition, il s'exerce de multiples manières et dans les domaines les plus variés. La Division des politiques alimentaires et de la nutrition mène une action spécifique dans divers secteurs: planification et évaluation, programmes nutritionnels, qualité des aliments et protection du consommateur, en plus des travaux sur les normes alimentaires que nous menons conjointement avec l'OMS.

Mais, en fait, ce sont toutes nos activités qui tendent directement ou indirectement au progrès de la nutrition.

Pour agir à bon escient, nous avons entrepris de mesurer le problème. Nous avons créé un système d'information à l'échelle mondiale pour suivre de près les développements dans le secteur alimentaire et agricole dans chaque pays. Nous pouvons ainsi prévoir l'apparition de déficits ou de situations de crise et alerter en temps voulu la communauté internationale et les donateurs. Nous publions annuellement un rapport sur la situation mondiale de l'alimentation et de l'agriculture. En outre, tous les six ans, nous effectuons une enquête mondiale sur l'alimentation.

Production végétale, animale, forestière et halieutique, protection de l'environnement pour les générations futures; amélioration de la distribution et des échanges commerciaux; développement rural sous toutes ses formes; tous nos programmes convergent vers une seule et même fin. faire de la sécurité alimentaire une réalité, aussi bien aujourd'hui qu'à l'avenir, lorsque la population mondiale aura encore augmenté de quelque 3 milliards de personnes, et ce dans une génération à peine. C'est là pour nous une obligation primordiale, qui a trouvé son expression la plus haute dans le Pacte mondial de sécurité alimentaire adopté par la Conférence de la FAO en novembre 1985 et qui est encore d'une brûlante actualité.

CONCLUSION

C'est donc dans le souci constant d'améliorer la nutrition des populations que notre action trouve son unité et sa force de cohésion. Mais, pour vastes et ambitieuses que nos activités puissent être, nous ne sommes pas les seuls acteurs dans ce domaine complexe, aux nombreuses ramifications. Le problème déborde les limites de notre compétence et, même à l'intérieur de celles-ci, nos ressources sont trop modestes pour nous permettre de tout faire. C'est pourquoi nous avons depuis longtemps conjugué nos efforts avec ceux des autres organisations du système des Nations Unies - en particulier de l'OMS - afin de bénéficier d'un effet de synergie et d'attaquer la malnutrition sur le front le plus large possible.

Que devons-nous attendre de cette réunion, de ce grand brassage d'idées, de propositions, de résolutions venant de dirigeants politiques, de représentants du monde associatif et du secteur privé? Il s'agit de changer notre conception des relations humaines, rien de moins! Car, ne l'oublions pas, si une bonne nutrition est essentielle à 'épanouissement de la personne, elle joue forcément un rôle primordial dans les relations entre les hommes. On peut donc, à juste titre, y voir un des fondements de la communauté et de la solidarité humaines. Malgré toute leur importance, nous savons bien que la Déclaration mondiale sur la nutrition et le Plan d'action ne suffisent pas pour parvenir à cette fin. La grande transformation que notre Conférence est appelée à réaliser, c'est la transformation des cœurs, des consciences et des volontés Elle seule donnera sens et vie aux textes que vous adopterez.

Nous ne demandons pas la création d'un fonds spécial ou d'organismes nouveaux. Nous voulons éveiller partout le sentiment de notre responsabilité individuelle et collective, nous voulons que tout le monde ressente le poids des enjeux nutritionnels dans tous les choix politiques, économiques et sociaux, dans la lutte contre la pauvreté, dans l'instauration d'un nouvel ordre économique mondial.

La Conférence internationale sur la nutrition nous offre une chance extraordinaire d'ouvrir à tous, aujourd'hui comme demain, l'accès à la pleine réalisation de notre condition humaine. Puissions - nous saisir cette chance Chacun est concerné, chacun est responsable.

Address to the International Conference on nutrition 1

1 Translated from original French.

Edouard Saouma

Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

This is a great day in the history of FAO. Our Organization is indeed honoured to host the first world conference on nutrition. It represents the crowning achievement of all our past efforts and, I firmly believe, will constitute the basic premise for future commitments of crucial importance for all humanity.

We are sharing this task and privilege with WHO, and we take both pleasure and pride in the fact that the international community has entrusted to our two organizations the responsibility of organizing this meeting together. It allows us to fulfil the dream that Stanley Bruce proposed to the League of Nations in 1935: to bring about “the marriage of health and agriculture”. I am happy to welcome the presence here beside me of my colleague, Dr Nakajima, Director-General of WHO.

However, the mandate for this Conference really comes from the entire United Nations system - the UN, of course, but also the World Bank, UNICEF, UNDP and many others. Indeed, the idea for this meeting originated in an interagency committee whose members have made a valuable contribution both to the Conference preparations and to the formulation of the World Declaration on Nutrition and the Plan of Action for Nutrition, which you have before you. These texts, which we hope will be well received by you, represent the thinking of the entire United Nations family, to whom pay tribute as we begin our work.

Nonetheless, it was the Member Nations themselves who nurtured and finalized the decision to hold this meeting, am very pleased to greet and to welcome the delegations of all participating countries.

The Conference was also designed to enlist the active participation of non-governmental organizations, and I am happy to note the presence of a great many NGOs, whose contributions are bound to enrich our discussions, I extend a cordial welcome to them.

THE IMPORTANCE OF NUTRITION

For the first time, a world meeting will deal with this topic, one which has such implications for the survival of humanity that no one can remain unconcerned. We have always known that people’s health and their physical and mental development - and thus their capacity to learn, to work and to play their full role in society - are wholly dependent on nutrition. Humans most fundamental need and right is access to sufficient supplies of nutritionally adequate food. The major declarations on human rights mention this only in passing, so obvious and inalienable does it seem. But sometimes even the most obvious truths must be spelled out; and so we hail the Declaration of Barcelona, adopted in March 1992, which, in solemnly reaffirming the right of all humans to their fair share of food, defined the nature and scope of this right.

One of my predecessors, Mr. B.R. Sen, put this very strongly when he said that one person’s hunger is everyone's hunger. The obvious inference is that, if some are hungry, it is the duty of all to come to their aid.

FOOD AID

When we talk about aid we tend to picture humanitarian aid - shipments of medicine, medical personnel and medical equipment but also, and perhaps above all, food aid. There was a time when it was imagined that food aid was only for developing countries, or nearly always so. But food aid has always been vital even in the most advanced countries - ”food stamps” in one, soup-kitchens in another. Such programmes still bring essential relief in many countries to tens of millions who live below the poverty line.

An explosion of need

Today, however, we are sadly witnessing a veritable explosion of need, which has given the problem a universal dimension. Natural disasters, civil wars and the collapse of economic and political systems have conspired to condemn entire populations to famine, and have driven millions of refugees to exodus. These flare-ups are now almost too many to count.

In Africa they have proliferated in Ethiopia, Somalia, the Sudan, but also in Angola, Mozambique, Liberia and many other countries. The tragedies of Asia have spread to the former Soviet Republics In the Near East, tensions and clashes condemn hundreds of thousands of men, women and children to homelessness, poverty and hunger. And though we may hear a little less about Latin America these days, malnutrition continues to take a terrible toll there as well Even Europe is seeing pockets of famine reappear, while from what was formerly Yugoslavia come unbearable images of a barbarism that we believed forever banished starving and mutilated children and the emaciated bodies of prisoners who have become walking spectres.

The duty to intervene

These are situations that make profound claims upon our individual and collective sense of responsibility. We are duty-bound to intervene, or else stand guilty of refusing to aid people and populations in danger.

The perils of food aid

Like all other human, and hence imperfect, enterprises, food aid is not without its perils. There is the risk of political or other forms of discrimination, the risk of a negative impact on local production, the complete disruption of dietary habits, and the creation of a state of dependence that tends to perpetuate itself. We must be aware of and try to avoid all these dangers, but this in no way detracts from the value of or need for food aid.

NUTRITION AND POVERTY

While the moral obligation to provide such aid is dictated by a spirit of solidarity, it is always situations of people or populations living in poverty that make it a necessity As early as 1943, the founders of FAO stated that “the principal cause of hunger and malnutrition is poverty”.

To promote good nutrition effectively, there must be a serious commitment at all levels to fight the poverty of individuals and of nations. At the national level, this means the adoption of dynamic policies concerning employment, housing, education, community facilities, health care and social services, and so forth. At the international level, poor countries must obtain remunerative prices for the goods they export in order to relieve their burden of debt and to purchase the consumer and capital goods they need. Countries with too few resources to advance rapidly enough in this direction must receive the necessary aid to enable them to do so.

THE FOOD INDUSTRY

Each partner has a unique role to play in this concerted effort. Here, I shall simply touch upon the role of the food industry. The sector is largely concentrated in the hands of powerful multinationals which handle most of the food that is consumed in countries of the North and which export to the South, along with some staple foods, certain expensive and sophisticated products. The power of the production and market penetration of these companies therefore presents risks which call for vigilant consumer protection WHO and FAO are engaged in such efforts, particularly through the preparation and publication of the set of standards and regulations called Codex Alimentarius, the aim of which is to ensure the effective protection of consumer health.

The food industry plays an essential part in feeding humanity, and a blanket condemnation of it would be both unfair and unwise. I am convinced, instead, that beneficial results can be obtained by constructive dialogue with the industry, involving the participation of consumers, doctors and nutritionists as well as representatives of governments and international organizations.

THE WORK OF FAO

With regard to FAO’s role in nutrition, it is both varied and wide-ranging. The Food Policy and Nutrition Division undertakes specific activities in a number of sectors -planning and evaluation, nutrition programmes, food quality, consumer protection - in addition to its work in the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.

In fact, the entire range of FAO’s activities is directly or indirectly aimed at advancing nutrition. We have undertaken to measure the problem and have therefore set up a global information system to monitor closely developments in the food sector in each country. This enables us to predict the occurrence of crisis situations or deficits and to alert the international community and donors in time. Each year we publish a report on the state of food and agriculture, and every six years we carry out a world food survey.

Plant livestock, forestry and fishery production, environmental protection for future generations, improved distribution and trade, rural development in its various aspects, all our programmes converge towards a single goal to make food security a reality, both today and for the future when the world’s population will have grown by about three billion in just one single generation. For us, this goal represents a fundamental obligation which received its highest expression in the World Food Security Compact, adopted by the FAO Conference in November 1985 but still of the utmost relevance today.

CONCLUSION

This constant concern to improve world nutrition is what gives our work its unity and cohesiveness. Our activities may be vast and ambitious, but we are not the sole protagonists in this complex field, a field with many ramifications. The problem goes beyond the bounds of FAO’s mandate and, even within these bounds, our resources are far too limited to allow us to do everything. This is why we have long joined forces with other United Nations organizations, particularly with WHO, so as to achieve synergy's and combat malnutrition on the broadest possible front.

What then should we expect of this meeting, of the great cauldron of ideas, proposals and resolutions that are to be put forth by political leaders, by representatives of the non-governmental world and of the private sector? Nothing less than a change in our very perception of human relations. For let us not forget that, if good nutrition is essential for the full development of the individual, it necessarily plays a pivotal role in human relationships. It may therefore be considered one of the foundations of human society and human solidarity. And while the World Declaration on Nutrition and the Plan of Action for Nutrition are very important, we are well aware that they alone cannot guarantee the successful achievement of our goal. The great change that our Conference is called upon to produce is the transformation of hearts, minds and wills. This and this alone will give meaning and life to the texts that you will adopt.

We are not asking for the creation of a special fund or of new agencies. What we want is to awaken everywhere the sense of our individual and collective responsibility. We want the world to feel the weight of the nutritional challenge inherent in every political, economic and social decision in the fight against poverty and in the establishment of a new world economic order.

The International Conference on Nutrition offers us an extraordinary opportunity to allow all people, both today and tomorrow, the chance to realize their full human potential. Let us seize this opportunity. Each one of us is concerned; each one of us is responsible.

Declaración ante la Conferencia Internacional sobre Nutrición 1

1 Traducción del original en francés países que participan en la Conferencia

Edouard Saouma

Director General de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación

La FAO vive hoy uno de los grandes momentos de su historia Es para nosotros un gran honor poder acoger en nuestra Organización a la Primera Conferencia Mundial dedicada a la nutrición. Este acto corona todos los esfuerzos del pasado y constituye - estoy seguro de ello - la primicia de futuros compromisos de una importancia crucial para la humanidad en su conjunto.

Compartimos esta tarea y este honor con la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) y nos sentimos felices y orgullosos de que la comunidad internacional haya confiado a nuestras dos instituciones hermanas el cuidado de organizar Juntas esta reunión. Se nos ha permitido así dar forma al gran sueño que en 1935 Stanley Bruce proponía a la Sociedad de Naciones «establecer una relación entre la salud y la agricultura» Mucho me complace por lo tanto la presencia, Junto a mí, de mi colega el Dr. Nakajima, Director General de la OMS.

Ha sido, no obstante, todo el sistema de las Naciones Unidas el que ha conferido su mandato a esta Conferencia La Organización de las Naciones Unidas, por supuesto, pero también el Banco Mundial, el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia, el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo y otras muchas organizaciones. De hecho, la idea de esta asamblea surgió en un comité interinstitucional. Los miembros de dicho comité aportaron una valiosa contribución a la preparación de esta reunión y a la elaboración de la Declaración Mundial sobre la Nutrición y del Plan de Acción que les han sido presentados. Estos textos, que esperamos reciban de ustedes una excelente acogida, representan la reflexión de toda la familia de las Naciones Unidas, y es mi deber rendirle homenaje cuando están a punto de iniciarse nuestros trabajos.

Por otra parte, la decisión de celebrar esta asamblea ha sido madurada y adoptada por los propios Estados Miembros, razón por la cual me complace acoger y saludar calurosamente a las delegaciones de todos los países que participan en la Conferencia.

Por su propia concepción, la Conferencia exigía igualmente la participación activa de las organizaciones no gubernamentales, y compruebo con alegría la presencia de muchas de ellas, cuyas aportaciones no dejarán de enriquecer nuestros debates. Doy a todas ellas una cordial bienvenida.

IMPORTANCIA DE LA NUTRICION

Por primera vez, en una reunión internacional se va a examinar este tema que no puede dejar indiferente a nadie, ya que se trata de la supervivencia misma de la humanidad. Se sabe desde siempre que la nutrición condiciona la salud de las personas así como su desarrollo físico y mental y, por ende, su capacidad de aprender, trabajar y desempeñar la función que les corresponde en la sociedad. Se trata de una necesidad real que es a la vez el primero de los derechos humanos el derecho a una alimentación adecuada tanto en calidad como en cantidad. A fuer de evidente, este derecho sólo aparece de manera incidental en los grandes textos donde se enuncian los derechos humanos Sucede a veces, sin embargo, que las verdades más evidentes deben ser claramente proclamadas, razón por la cual conviene hacer referencia a la Declaración de Barcelona, aprobada en mayo de 1992 y que, al reafirmar solemnemente ante el mundo el derecho de los seres humanos a una parte justa de alimentos, ha precisado su naturaleza y su importancia.

Mi predecesor en el cargo, el Sr. B.R. Sen, expresó la idea con una fórmula contundente «El hambre de un hombre», decía, «es el hambre de todos los hombres». La consecuencia evidente es que, cuando los seres humanos tienen hambre, el deber de todos y cada uno de nosotros es acudir en su ayuda.

AYUDA ALIMENTARIA

Cuando se habla de ayuda se piensa en la ayuda humanitaria, en los envíos de medicamentos, de personal y de material médico, pero también, y tal vez sobre todo, en la ayuda alimentaria. En un determinado momento pudo creerse que los envíos de, productos alimenticios estaban destinados únicamente, o casi únicamente, a los países en desarrollo. Sin embargo, la ayuda alimentaria no ha dejado de desempeñar un papel fundamental incluso en los países más avanzados: los cupones de alimentos, en algunos lugares, los comedores para pobres, en otros, son programas que siguen siendo indispensables en muchos países para socorrer a decenas de millones de personas que viven al límite de la supervivencia.

La explosión de necesidades

Por desgracia estamos asistiendo hoy día a una verdadera explosión de necesidades, que confiere al problema una dimensión universal. Las catástrofes naturales, las guerras civiles y el hundimiento de las estructuras políticas y económicas se están conjugando entre sí para reducir al hambre a poblaciones enteras y arrojar a millones de refugiados por los caminos del éxodo. Son ya innumerables los focos de las conflagraciones. En Africa se multiplican: Etiopía, Somalia, Sudán pero también Angola, Mozambique, Liberia y tanto otros lugares. Las tragedias que asolan el continente asiático han llegado a las antiguas Repúblicas Soviéticas. Las tensiones y choques que sufre el Cercano Oriente están reduciendo a centenares de miles de hombres, mujeres y niños a la miseria, al vagabundeo y al hambre, y aun cuando en estos momentos se hable menos de América Latina, la malnutrición sigue causando allí estragos terribles. En la propia Europa están reapareciendo diseminados focos de indigencia, y desde la que fue Yugoslavia nos llegan imágenes insufribles de una barbarie que se creía abolida para siempre: niños mutilados y hambrientos, y cuerpos consumidos de prisioneros que no son más que espectros ambulantes.

El deber de la ingerencia

Tales situaciones nos acosan con violencia y comprometen profundamente nuestra responsabilidad individual y colectiva. Se nos impone un verdadero deber de ingerencia al que no podemos sustraernos sin hacernos culpables de no prestar ayuda a personas y a pueblos en peligro.

Los riesgos de la ayuda alimentaria

Como toda empresa humana, la ayuda alimentaria no es perfecta y está amenazada por graves peligros: riesgo de discriminaciones basadas en motivos políticos o de otra índole; efecto negativo sobre la producción local; perturbación profunda de los hábitos alimentarios, y creación de una situación de dependencia que tiende a perpetuarse. Es necesario ser conscientes de estos peligros y tratar de evitarlos, lo cual no disminuye en nada la necesidad o el valor de la ayuda alimentaria.

Nutrición y pobreza

Si bien es el espíritu de solidaridad quien nos dicta la obligación moral de dispensar una ayuda de este tipo, son siempre situaciones de pobreza de personas o pueblos las que la hacen necesaria. Ya en 1943 los padres fundadores de la FAO afirmaban que «la causa principal del hambre y de la mala nutrición es la pobreza».

Por ello, para promover eficazmente una buena nutrición es necesario emprender una lucha encarnizada a todos los niveles contra la pobreza de las personas y de los países. En el plano nacional, esto supone una política dinámica en materia de empleo, vivienda, educación, equipamientos colectivos, servicios sanitarios y sociales, etc. En el plano internacional, los países pobres deben obtener precios remuneradores por los productos que exportan para que puedan librarse de la carga de la deuda y comprar los bienes de consumo y de equipo que necesitan. Los países cuyos recursos no les permiten avanzar con la suficiente rapidez por esta vía deben recibir la ayuda necesaria para estar en condiciones de conseguirlo.

LA INDUSTRIA AGROALIMENTARIA

Cada uno de los participantes en este esfuerzo común cumple una función insustituible. Aquí me limitaré a evocar brevemente la que corresponde a la gran industria agroalimentaria. Esta industria está concentrada en gran medida en manos de poderosas multinacionales, las cuales elaboran la mayor parte de los alimentos que se consumen en los países del Norte y exportan al Sur, junto con alimentos de primera necesidad, ciertos productos refinados y costosos. Su capacidad de producción y de penetración entraña por tanto riesgos y exige una acción vigilante de protección de los consumidores. La OMS y la FAO se esfuerzan por lograr este objetivo, especialmente elaborando y promulgando un conjunto de reglas y normas agrupadas bajo el nombre de Codex Alimentarius, cuya finalidad es proteger eficazmente la salud de los consumidores.

Sin embargo, no deja de ser cierto que esta industria cumple un cometido primordial en lo que respecta a la alimentación de la humanidad y que sería a la vez injusto y peligroso condenarla en bloque, Estoy convencido, por el contrario, de que si se entabla con ella un dialogo constructivo, en el que deberán participar consumidores, médicos y nutricionistas junto a representantes de los poderes públicos y de las organizaciones internacionales, se obtendrán resultados positivos.

LAS ACTIVIDADES DE LA FAO

En cuanto a la FAO, su función con respecto a la nutrición se ejerce de múltiples modos y en los ámbitos más diversos. La Dirección de Política Alimentaria y Nutrición lleva a cabo actividades específicas en diversos sectores: planificación y evaluación, programas de nutrición, calidad de los alimentos y protección de los consumidores, además de la labor realizada conjuntamente con la OMS en relación con las normas alimentarias.

Pero de hecho todas nuestras actividades tienden directa o indirectamente al progreso de la nutrición, Para actuar con conocimiento de causa, nos hemos propuesto evaluar el problema. Hemos creado un sistema de información para seguir de cerca la evolución del sector alimentario y agrícola de cada país. De este modo podemos prever la aparición de insuficiencias o situaciones de crisis y alertar oportunamente a la comunidad internacional y a los donantes. Publicamos asimismo el informe El estado mundial de la agricultura y la alimentación, y cada seis años una encuesta mundial sobre la alimentación.

Producción vegetal, animal, forestal y pesquera; protección del medio ambiente para las generaciones futuras; mejora de la distribución y de los intercambios comerciales; desarrollo rural en todas sus formas: todos nuestros programas concurren a una misma finalidad, que es hacer de la seguridad alimentaria una realidad, tanto en la actualidad como en el futuro, cuando la población mundial haya aumentado en otros 3000 millones de habitantes en el plazo de apenas una generación. Esto constituye para nosotros una obligación imperiosa, que encontró su expresión más elevada en el Pacto Mundial de Seguridad Alimentaria aprobado por la Conferencia de la FAO en noviembre de 1985 y todavía de palpitante actualidad.

CONCLUSION

Es pues la preocupación constante por mejorar la nutrición de la población mundial lo que da su unidad y su fuerza de cohesión a nuestras actividades, Por amplias y ambiciosas que éstas puedan ser, no somos los únicos que actuamos en este sector complejo y con numerosas ramificaciones. El problema rebasa los límites de nuestra competencia, e incluso dentro de estos límites nuestros recursos son demasiado modestos para que podamos atender a todas las necesidades. Por ello hemos aunado desde hace tiempo nuestros esfuerzos con los de otras organizaciones del sistema de la Naciones Unidas, y en particular de la OMS, con el fin de beneficiarnos del efecto sinérgico y atacar a la malnutrición desde el frente más amplio posible.

¿Qué debemos esperar de esta reunión, de este hervidero de ideas, de propuestas, de resoluciones provenientes de dirigentes políticos, de representantes del mundo de las asociaciones y del sector privado? Se trata nada menos que de cambiar nuestra concepción de las relaciones humanas. Porque no hay que olvidar que si una buena nutrición es esencial para el completo desarrollo de la persona, tiene por fuerza una importancia primordial en las relaciones entre los hombres. Por consiguiente se puede ver en ella, con razón, uno de los fundamentos de la comunidad y solidaridad humanas. A pesar de su importancia, sabemos muy bien que para alcanzarla no basta con la Declaración Mundial sobre la Nutrición y el Plan de Acción. La gran transformación que está llamada a realizar nuestra Conferencia es la transformación de los corazones, de las conciencias y de las voluntades. Ella sola dará sentido y vida a los textos que ustedes adopten.

No pedimos la creación de un fondo especial o de organismos nuevos. Queremos despertar por doquier un sentimiento de responsabilidad individual y colectiva, queremos que todos comprendan la importancia de las consideraciones nutricionales en todas las decisiones políticas, económicas y sociales, en la lucha contra la pobreza, en la instauración de un nuevo orden económico mundial.

La Conferencia Internacional sobre Nutrición nos ofrece una oportunidad extraordinaria para facilitar, hoy y mañana, el acceso de todas las personas a la plena realización de su condición humana. Ojalá sepamos aprovechar esta oportunidad. Esto es algo que nos concierne a todos, de lo que todos somos responsables.

(introduction...)

1 This article was adapted from Nutrition and development - a global assessment, written by FAO and WHO for the International Conference on Nutrition, 1992.

The scope and consequences of nutritional problems

As we approach the twenty-first century, hunger and malnutrition remain the most devastating problems facing the world's poor. Although the proportion and absolute number of chronically undernourished people 2 has declined worldwide, progress has been uneven among developing countries (Figure 1). For developing regions as a whole, the estimated number of people suffering from chronic malnutrition has declined from 941 million to 786 million people over the past two decades. The challenge facing the international community is to build upon the progress that has occurred and accelerate the processes that improve nutrition.

2 Defined as those people whose estimated daily energy intake over a year falls below that required to maintain body weight and support light activity.


Estimate of chronically undernourished people in developing regions (number and percentage of total population). - Estimation de la sous-alimentation chronique dans les régions en développement (nombre de personnes sous-alimentées et pourcentage de la population totale). - Estimación de las personas crónicamente desnutridas en las regiones en desarrollo (número y porcentaje de la población total).

In Asia and the Pacific striking improvements have occurred in the last 20 years, the proportion of the population affected by undernutrition declined from 40 percent to 19 percent. Nevertheless, the highest number of chronically undernourished people, 528 million, live in this region The region with the largest proportion of the population affected by undernutrition, 33 percent, is Africa. The actual number of Africans affected by undernutrition has increased dramatically, rising from 101 million people in 1969-71 to 128 million in 1979-81 and reaching 168 million in 1988-90.

Undernutrition

The consequences of malnutrition are varied and far-reaching undernutrition can retard growth and development, reduce physical activity, impair resistance to infection, increase morbidity and lead to disabilities and death. Approximately 192 million children under five years of age suffer from acute or chronic protein-energy malnutrition During seasonal food shortages and in times of famine and social unrest, this average number increases. The percentage of underweight children under five years of age has declined in the last 15 years, but the absolute numbers have remained fairly stable because of population increases (Table 1).

Micronutrient deficiencies

Lack of specific nutrients within the diet causes serious health problems in many countries (Table 2). Over 1000 million people are at risk of iodine deficiency, often because little iodine is present in local soils. Severe or moderate iodine deficiency during pregnancy or early childhood can lead to neurological or hyperthyroid cretinism, resulting in deaf-mutism, impaired motor coordination, growth failure, severe mental defects and increased rates of abortion and stillbirths.

An estimated 40 million people are affected by insufficient intake of vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency occurs when fruit and vegetable consumption and, in some cases, fat intake are low. This deficiency is the most common cause of preventable childhood blindness. It may also lead to night blindness, decreased resistance to infections and increased morbidity and mortality rates from various infections, especially diarrhoeal and respiratory infections and measles.

Poor nutritional status in general is associated with increased prevalence of anemia, pregnancy and delivery problems, and increased rates of intrauterine growth retardation, low birth weight and perinatal mortality In adults, undernourishment and anemia, can lead to poor health, can impair productivity because of reduced physical and intellectual performance and can constrain community and national development. Over 2000 million people, primarily women of child-bearing age and young children, are affected by the lack of iron.

Deficiencies of zinc, selenium and other trace elements affect large numbers of people in certain areas. Outbreaks of beriberi, pellagra and scurvy occur in refugee camps and among other deprived populations. Finally, rickets affects significant numbers of children.

TABLE 1

Prevalence and number of underweight children under five years of age, by region.

Prévalence de l'insuffisance pondérale chez les enfants de moins de cinq ans par régions.

Prevalencia y número de niños menores de cinco años con falta de peso, por regiones.

Region

Percentage underweight

Number underweight(millions)


1975

1990

2005

1975

1990

2005

Continental Africa

26

24

22

19.7

27.4

36.5

North Africa

20

13

11

3.1

3.0

2.7

East Africa

25

24

22

5.7

8.7

12.4

Central Africa

24

22

19

1.8

2.7

3.6

Southern Africa

16

13

10

0.7

0.7

0.7

West Africa

35

32

29

8.3

12.2

17.0

Sub-Saharan Africa c

28

26

24

17.4

25.4

34.9

Americas

12

9

8

7.8

6.8

6.2

North America

4

2

1

0.7

0.3

0.2

Caribbean

18

15

14

0.6

0.5

0.5

Central America

14

12

8

2.0

1.6

1.5

South America

15

11

10

4.4

4.3

3.9

Asia d

49

44

41

163.1

154.7

149.3

Eastern Asia

33

21

17

47.4

25.4

18.5

Southeastern Asia e

48

38

32

24.6

21.6

18.4

Southern Asia

68

62

57

91.0

107.6

112.3

Near East f

22

15

12

2.9

2.9

3.1

Average

47.5

40.8

37.8




Total




193.6

191.9

195.2

a Underweight is defined as weight-for-age less than minus 2 SD of the WHO reference.

b Population projections for 1990 and 2005 are based on the medium variant from the UN.

c East, West, Central and southern Africa, and including the Sudan from North Africa.

d Excluding the countries of the former USSR and the Near East (01 western Asia), for which the data are tabulated separately.

e Including Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.

f Excluding Gaza Strip and Cyprus.

Diet and non-communicable diseases

The emergence of obesity and various non-communicable diseases, including heart disease, hypertension, non-insulin-dependent diabetes and some cancers may be linked to changing dietary patterns and lifestyles. Dietary imbalances for instance inadequate intakes of dietary fibre or excessive energy intakes have been associated with these diseases. There is concern that the prevalence of diet related non communicable diseases will increase among younger segments of the population as well as the elderly. This would place additional burdens on health services and development.

TABLE 2

Population at risk of and affected by micronutrient malnutrition (millions).

Populations menacées et affectées par des carences en oligo-éléments (en millions).

Población a riesgo y afectada por malnutrición debida a carencia de micronutrientes (millones).

Region a

Iodine deficiency disorders

Vitamin A deficiency b

Iron deficiency or anemia


At risk

Affected (goitre)

At risk

Affected (xerophthalmia)


Africa

150

39

18

1 3

206

Americas

55

30

2

01

94

Southeast Asia

280

100

138

100

616

Europe

82

14

-

-

27

Eastern Mediterranean

33

12

13

1 0

149

Western Pacific c

405

30

19

1 4

1 058

Total

1005

225

190

138

2150

a WHO regions.
b Preschool children only
c Including China

Factors influencing nutritional status

Current understanding of nutritional problems involves awareness of a broad range of complex issues The various influences on nutritional status can be grouped in the categories of food health and care.

Food

By the late 1980s roughly 60 percent of the world's population lived in countries that had more than 2 600 kcal available per person per day. At the same time 123 million people resided in countries where dietary energy supplies 3 were grossly insufficient at less than 2 000 kcal per person per day (Figure 2). The average per caput food supplies in the developing countries increased in the 1980s although at a slower rate than in the 1970s. In sub-Saharan Africa food supplies reached critical levels because of severe drought coupled with civil unrest in some countries. By 1990, approximately 18 million people were affected and in urgent need of emergency assistance.

3 Dietary energy supply (DES) is an estimate of the average daily per caput energy available for human consumption in the total food supply during a given period DES figures do not indicate actual consumption or the distribution patterns of the available supplies.

Stable food availability at the national, regional and household level can bring profound nutritional benefits. Even when the first priority of agricultural development is raising aggregate production of selected food and nonfood commodities, increasing consumption levels of poor households and generating sustainable livelihoods should be explicit goals; otherwise the nutritional benefits may not be attained. Often who produces, what they produce, how they produce and where they produce may be as important as how much is produced.

The mix of staple, secondary and non-food cash crops influences access to food in rural areas. Cash crops can complement food crops and provide income to purchase food. In addition to increasing foreign exchange earnings, cash crops can raise and perhaps stabilize household incomes, either directly or through jobs created on or off the farm. Better production technologies which are often adopted for cash crops may spread to the food crop sector, raising food production as well.

Improvements in dietary intake will not occur if the earnings from new crops are spent on items not related to food. Women's participation in new enterprises and control of the income is important if nutritional benefits are to be realized. When a mother has a controlling hand in household expenditures, children usually receive more benefits.


Agro-industries, such as this food-processing firm in Costa Rica, provide employment-a basic step towards solving nutrition problems. - Les agro-industries, comme cet établissement de transformation des denrées alimentaires au Costa Rica, fournissent des emplois - ce qui contribue de façon fondamentale à résoudre tes problèmes nutritionnels. - Las agroindustrias, como esta industria de elaboración de alimentos en Costa Rica, generan empleos, un elemento fundamental para la solución de los problemas nutricionales.


Change in dietary energy supply by region. - Evolution de la disponibilité énergétique alimentaire par régions. - Cambios en el suministro de energía alimentaria por regiones.

The full nutritional benefits of commercialized agriculture can only be realized if prices of food in local markets remain affordable and a diversity of food crops is attained. When planners contemplate introducing cash crops or other farm enterprises, the socio-economic effects must be carefully assessed, and counteracting interventions must be made where needed to assure food security, especially for poor households.

Approximately two-thirds of the population of developing countries live in rural areas where crop and animal production, fisheries and forestry are direct sources of food and income. The employment requirements of agriculture may be key determinants of nutritional well-being. The high amounts of energy spent in farming and household activities can be significant. Labor-saving technologies may be beneficial, but in areas of high unemployment they should not be labor displacing. When the wages of landless laborers are irregular and uncertain, the threat of food insecurity may be great In countries where land reforms are needed, the tenants on small farms form another highly vulnerable group.

The benefits of food crops such as roots and tubers, pulses and legumes are often not fully realized because of lack of research to improve production and storage, transport and processing problems. Since these traditional foods are well adapted to local environments, they can reduce the risk of food shortages. Increased cultivation of these crops by small producers could directly improve food supplies for nutritionally vulnerable households. Roots and tubers serve as staples in many diets, while legumes, oilseeds, vegetables and fruits are primary sources of oils, vitamins and minerals.

Improvements in post-harvest management can often significantly increase overall food availability and reduce costs for producers, distributors and consumers. The postharvest operations where major losses are most likely to occur are storage, marketing and food handling in the home. Adequate storage is essential in rural areas, particularly among semi-subsistence farming households which are directly dependent upon stored foods for their food security. It is also important in urban areas where retail food distribution and marketing occur.

Marketing facilities generally improve nutrition because they provide relatively easy access to cheaper and more diverse foods. Adequate transport and marketing facilities and liberal, non-interventionist domestic trading policies are essential for food markets to function well. Producers and consumers should be able to reach markets without excessive expenditures of time or money.

Indeed, reducing marketing inefficiencies and transaction costs may be a more cost-effective method for increasing food availability than increasing production. Such efforts may be relatively simple, for instance, policies on transport licenses can be liberalized or restrictions on movements of food commodities removed.

Health

Good health and sanitation are essential for good nutrition, yet they are beyond the reach of the majority of the world's population. Infectious disease and inadequate diet act synergistically, each aggravating the effects of the other to produce the "malnutrition and infection complex". In malnourished persons, illnesses tend to be more frequent, more severe and prolonged. Nutritional requirements are higher during and following episodes of infection. Chronic infections or frequent acute infections make it almost impossible to maintain adequate nutritional status.

The mechanisms by which infections harm nutritional status include reduced food and water intake resulting from anorexia, diminished absorption and utilization of ingested food, increased nutrient and water losses, increased metabolic demands and therefore higher nutritional requirements, and alteration of metabolic pathways and the intentional withholding of food. Diarrhoeal diseases, measles, acute respiratory infections (ARI), tuberculosis and, more recently, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) have major effects on nutritional status Among the parasitic infestations, malaria, hookworm, ascariasis, amoebiasis and schistosomiasis are most significant for nutrition.

Antenatal care, immunizations and curative services to shorten disease episodes can improve nutritional status. Health services can influence the initiation and establishment of breast-feeding. Growth monitoring of children and follow-up when faltering occurs are important public health actions to prevent undernutrition In addition to improved health facilities, intersectoral and community-based approaches need to be promoted. Developing human resources and strengthening managerial capacity at national and local levels are essential to deal with nutritional problems effectively.

Care

Adequate care and feeding practices require time, attention and support and are essential to meet the physical, mental and social needs of individuals. To assist children and others who may be unable to care for themselves because of disability or old age, resources must be used effectively. The knowledge, attitudes and practices of household members largely determine the nutritional status of the household. An incomplete understanding of the body's nutritional needs and lack of knowledge of how to meet those needs with available foods can lead to malnutrition. Food taboos and fads, inappropriate eating habits, poor food preparation techniques, inadequate understanding of health risks, special dietary needs and physiological states all contribute to poor nutrition. While changes are difficult to make, nutrition education can be an appropriate and effective means of preventing and correcting nutritional problems. Women who are educated are more likely to use health care services and have lower fertility rates and more child-centred care-giving behaviours. With increasing education, women have more influence and skills to manage household resources for their children's health and welfare.


Maternal education influences family care practices: in Burkina Faso, mothers meet to discuss the importance of a varied diet. - L'éducation des mères permet d'améliorer tes soins domestiques. Au Burkina Faso, des mères se réunissent pour discuter du choix des aliments. - La enseñanza impartida a las madres influencia las prácticas de atención familiar. En Burkina Faso, las madres discuten sobre la necesidad de una alimentación variada.

Development policies and nutrition

It is only through concerted efforts to reduce social inequity and poverty, the root cause of malnutrition, that lasting solutions to nutritional problems will be found. The poor and disadvantaged are affected most by acute and chronic undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies. Poor families not only need better incomes, they often live in marginal areas and unsanitary environments, and they lack education and information to improve their nutritional status.

Economic growth and equity

National planners and policy-makers have often failed to give adequate attention to the nutritional implications of development policies. As a result, such policies have not achieved their potential to bring nutritional benefits, and in some cases they can have a negative impact on nutritional well-being. To ensure that nutrition interventions are effective, the context of general and sectoral development policies should be taken into account. A programme to improve food, health or care may be implemented successfully but may fail to show a measurable impact if the general policies are not favorable to nutrition.

National income growth can improve living standards and individual welfare including nutrition in several ways. As real incomes increase, demand for goods and services grows and more jobs become available, enabling more people to meet their needs for food, health care and safe and sanitary housing. However, specific government policies are needed to ensure that the poor and nutritionally vulnerable benefit from economic growth. Macroeconomic policies that discriminate against the food and agriculture sector or that reduce health services can adversely affect nutrition.

The burden of structural adjustment often falls disproportionately on the poor and nutritionally vulnerable. In the long run, however, it is the poor who would suffer most if macroeconomic imbalances were to continue. By making economic and social adjustments simultaneously and improving the targeting of interventions for the poor, "safety nets" can be created. Compensatory programmes (e.g. supplementary feeding, expanded health care, income-generating programmes) may be needed to help relieve the poor when negative effects occur.

In some countries the national income is high but inequitably distributed. In such situations if government spending in the social sector is relatively low, welfare indicators are often worse than those of other countries with similar per caput gross national product (GNP). In other countries, the governments have made strong commitments to providing for basic needs and the welfare indicators are better than their level of GNP would predict, Yet, without sustained economic growth, the impact of redistribution of incomes and assets tends to be limited over time. Finally, there are countries that have promoted economic growth along with a more equitable distribution of income as well as higher investments in developing human resources and skills. There is a strong case in favor of emphasizing equity together with growth as an integral part of a development strategy.

Agricultural policies, trade and the debt burden

Through its influence on development prospects and resource availability, the international trade environment can affect nutritional well-being in many countries. Foreign exchange earnings, employment and GNP are all affected by barriers to international trade, Trade liberalization, particularly in agricultural products, can have a favorable impact on the food security of developing countries overall. In countries that subsidize domestic production, agricultural imports are often relatively low, and when production exceeds domestic needs the surplus is sold abroad. This may constrain the volume and value of exports flowing from other countries, as an oversupply in the world market leads to depressed prices.

For developing countries that are primarily food importers, the industrialized countries' agricultural policies can provide food at low prices, as well as food aid. The availability of cheap food may allow the pursuit of programmes that increase access to food, particularly among urban populations, as well as relieving immediate balance of payment problems to some extent. However, if food self-sufficiency and trade-oriented self-reliance and rural development are the long-term solutions to a developing country's food problems, the impact of these policies is not positive.

Domestic prices are depressed when developing countries set farm prices in relation to world prices which are unduly low because of producer and export subsidies. In those circumstances, the profitability of investment in domestic agriculture decreases, productive resources are diverted to other less competitive sectors and the adoption of technologies and other measures to improve productivity is delayed. The long-term effect is perpetuation of dependence on imported food, which contributes to general deficits.

The external debt burden of the developing countries is critical. The ratio of debt servicing to exports remains at a high level for developing countries as a whole. There is a net outflow of debt-related resources from developing countries to creditors, which totaled US$ 242000 million in the period 1983 to 1989. Severe external constraints, e.g. shrinking markets for their products, prevent many developing countries from coping with their debts. Some limited debt rescheduling and even reductions have taken place recently, but the overall impact has been small.

Population growth

Providing for increasing numbers of people is a critical challenge in many developing countries, especially those where the population is expected to double in the next 20 to 25 years, To address population growth and migration successfully, more equitable economic development must be promoted and better access to education, health and family planning services should be provided, Many countries address high fertility levels through programmes to reduce the number of births and lengthen the intervals between pregnancies. Breast-feeding, especially when exclusive, favors pregnancy spacing and maternal health, Services for nutrition, maternal and child health and family planning will be more successful if linked and integrated.

Environment pressures

The increasing number of people places pressures on the natural resources upon which survival depends. Every year, at least 11 million hectares of tropical forests are cut down. The loss of arable land through soil degradation is almost as widespread, Between five and seven million hectares of cultivable land are lost each year, most of it in the developing world. The long-term integrity of food supplies is jeopardized by poor land-use practices, threats to fish and other wildlife, excessive use of fuel and energy sources, urban growth and pollution of air and water. There is increasing concern about food contamination and water pollution resulting from unsafe and overly intensive agricultural production methods.


FAO experts in Laos provide advice on the appropriate use of pesticides and their effects on food and the environment. - Au Laos, des experts de la FAO fournissent des avis concernant l'utilisation appropriée des pesticides et leurs effets sur les aliments et l'environnement. - Expertos de la FAO prestan asesoramiento en Laos sobre el uso apropiado de los plaguicidas y sus efectos sobre los alimentos y el medio ambiente.

Environmental degradation results in dwindling stocks of fuelwood, the principal energy source for cooking in most developing countries. Women and children in many countries must spend significant amounts of time and energy walking long distances to collect fuelwood.

In their daily struggle to survive, the rural poor adopt strategies that affect soil, woody biomass, pastureland and water, and their decisions about resource allocation may determine whether government actions to promote sustainable development succeed. Much environmental degradation arises because the rural poor are forced to employ damaging cultivation and pastoral practices. By increasing access to resources and technologies or providing alternative earning opportunities, environmental policies can address these basic issues.

The overall objective should be to create conditions in which it is more profitable to conserve resources than to destroy them. Sustainable production systems should be developed for various types and qualities of land and water resources, such as low- and high-potential agricultural lands, forests and fisheries. The need for sustainable technologies for marginal lands is an area that has largely been neglected by researchers in the past. Greater integration of nutritional, health, economic and environmental considerations is needed. For example, to reconcile environmental concerns with the need to increase food supplies and other agricultural commodities, alternative agricultural systems and technologies may need to be developed. Environmental concerns may create increased pressures for introducing new barriers to trade for products perceived to be "environmentally unfriendly". Other environmental issues such as possible global warming and loss of genetic resources need to be addressed to avoid adverse effects on nutrition over time.

Urban growth

By the year 2000, it is expected that 51 percent of the world's population will live in urban areas. Urban households tend to be better nourished than rural families; they have more varied diets and better access to health and other social services. However, there are urban and periurban groups who are poorer, more vulnerable and more malnourished than their rural counterparts. Breast-feeding is less prevalent and of shorter duration in urban areas, and increased bottle-feeding, poor housing, inadequate water supplies and waste disposal and poor food hygiene heighten the risk of diarrhoeal diseases, In cities, life-styles and dietary patterns change and efforts should be made to prevent new behaviors that have been linked to diseases.

In cities, people rely almost entirely on purchased food, much of it commercially prepared. They are more vulnerable to economic factors affecting commercial food markets, since they spend a high proportion of their budget on food and are dependent on wage labor. Currently many countries meet the needs of the city population by importing foods and subsidizing their prices, undercutting the domestic producers. This may be another motivation for rural people to move to cities, especially if food producers must sell at inadequate prices and farm incomes are kept low.

Policies and programmes to improve nutrition

Strategies and actions to improve nutrition need to be developed according to the particular needs, resources and circumstances of each country. Nonetheless, the following common areas of action for protecting and promoting nutritional well-being have been identified.

Improving household food security

Household food security depends on the ability of the household to produce or procure enough food to ensure an adequate diet for all its members at all times. Farmers living on marginal lands, landless or temporary laborers, pastoralists, small-scale fishermen and forestry workers and the urban poor are most vulnerable to food insecurity. They may experience chronic, seasonal or transitory food shortages. The food supply at both the national and the household level must be sufficient and reasonably stable throughout the year and from one year to another.

Protecting consumers through improved food quality and safety

Food-borne diseases due to pathogenic bacteria, viruses, parasites or intoxication’s caused by chemical contaminants are widespread, Food-borne diseases cause loss of income and work output and increased medical care costs. A country's reputation for poor food quality may result in a decrease in trade and export earnings, as well as in tourism if foodstuffs are contaminated. Proper food control measures also help to reduce food losses and assure a healthy diet. To ensure that food is safe and that food quality is maintained during production, handling, processing and packaging, an effective food quality control system is necessary.

Governments can advise consumers and the food industry about good agricultural, manufacturing and food-handling practices, measures to minimize food spoilage and actions to avoid contamination. Education in hygienic handling and processing of food is needed. Simple precautions can do much to keep food safe in the home, small shops and eating places. Education and training, backed up by well enforced codes of practice, can achieve similar results in the food industry.

GENERAL STRATEGIES TO ACHIEVE HOUSEHOLD FOOD SECURITY

· Adopt overall development strategies and macroeconomic policies that create conditions for growth with equity

· Accelerate growth in the food and agriculture sectors and promote rural development that focuses on the poor

· Improve access to land and other natural resources

· Provide credit for poor households

· Increase employment opportunities

· Create income transfer schemes

· Stabilize food supplies

· Improve emergency preparedness planning

· Provide emergency food aid and strengthen the coping mechanisms of households

International standards protect the health of consumers and ensure fair trade practices; they should be part of national and international food security systems. In building their institutional capacity to implement comprehensive food quality programmes, low-income countries can receive assistance in the development of infrastructure and advice from international agencies and countries with existing practices. The standards of the Codex Alimentarius Commission can be used as models for developing legislation and regulations.

ACTIONS TO IMPROVE FOOD QUALITY AND SAFETY

· Create comprehensive legislation, regulations and standards and effective inspection systems

· Promote good manufacturing practices and strengthen food control procedures to meet basic standards of hygiene incommercial food handling and preparation

· Educate consumers regarding hygiene and sanitation as well as food laws, regulations and standards

· Establish food and nutrition labelling regulations and guidelines for advertising so consumers can make more informed decisions

· Integrate food quality and safety concepts into government-sponsored, nutrition-related programmes

· Monitor national incidence of food-borne diseases and contaminants

· Construct infrastructure to provide adequate water and basic sanitation in homes and retail food outlets

· In agriculture, promote safe use of pesticides, fertilizers and veterinary drugs as well as proper practices for postharvest storage, chemical use, handling and transport


An effective food inspection and licensing system for vendors assures consumers in Panama that foods sold on the street are safe. - Au Panama, un système efficace d'inspection des aliments et d'octroi de licences pour les vendeurs est pour les consommateurs une garantie de l'Innocuité des aliments vendus sur la voie publique. - Un sistema eficiente de inspección de alimentos y concesión de licencias a los vendedores garantiza a los consumidores la inocuidad de tos alimentos vendidos en las vías públicas de Panamá.

Preventing specific micronutrient deficiencies

With concerted efforts, the virtual elimination of iodine and vitamin A deficiencies and the substantial reduction of iron deficiency within this decade are attainable goals. Strategies and activities to tackle specific micronutrient deficiencies need to be formulated and implemented within the context of national plans to improve nutrition. Preventing micronutrient deficiencies involves public health measures and legislation to improve water quality, sanitation and food hygiene and promotion of essential services such as immunization programmes, control of endemic diseases, maternal and child health and primary health care programmes as well as health education and information.

Improving dietary diversity by stimulating the production and consumption of micronutrient-rich foods is the fundamental, sustainable approach for overcoming micronutrient deficiencies. In rural and urban areas there is great scope for improving direct household supplies of micronutrient-rich foods. Food and agricultural planning can promote the increased availability of micronutrient-rich foods, and targeted nutrition education programmes can help increase their consumption.

Food fortification can add micronutrient, particularly potassium iodate, vitamin A and iron, to common foods. However, in developing countries the cost of fortification and the enforcement of relevant legislation can be problematic, especially where there are multiple small-scale producers. While supplementation with iodized oil (given orally or by injection), vitamin A (given in high-dose capsules or oral dispensers) and medicinal iron can be effective in some circumstances, this should only be considered as a temporary measure until long-term solutions can be implemented. Supplementation programmes are often expensive and unsystematic, and coverage may be poor. Frequently, the key target groups are different for each micronutrient, and operational constraints are severe.

Promoting appropriate diets and healthy lifestyles

Excessive or unbalanced diets, often coupled with inadequate physical exercise, stress, excessive alcohol consumption and smoking, contribute to poor health and lead to the increased incidence of diet-related non-communicable diseases including obesity, hypertension, stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and some cancers.

Promoting healthy diets involves motivating people and creating opportunities for behavioral change while recognizing individual preferences, life-styles and time constraints. Strategies include nutrition education and dietary guidance for the public; training of professionals in health and agriculture; creating guidelines for food services; and involving consumer groups and food industries in the endeavor. These efforts can reverse the trends of increased diet-related non-communicable diseases. They can also have implications for farming, industrial and social policies and international trade.

Generally, nutrition education has been effective when behaviour modification, rather than information diffusion, has been the goal. Social learning, social marketing and educational entertainment strategies for mass communication have improved nutritional status among low-income groups and others. In terms of cost-effectiveness, nutrition communication compares favorably with other nutrition interventions. Maintaining nutrition communication programmes over a long period is essential to sustain meaningful behavioral changes.

Formal and in-service training to teach health professionals, teachers, agricultural extension workers and other community workers to become effective communicators is crucial. Relevant school curricula and materials, teacher preparation, modification of the school environment and cooperation between schools, parents and the local health and social services are essential elements of nutrition education. Nutrition and health education in schools can have positive effects on entire households.

Preventing and managing infectious diseases

Poorly nourished persons are more susceptible to many infectious diseases, and the prevention of infection and management of these diseases involves reducing their incidence, duration and severity. Early and adequate curative treatment at home or in clinics for acute respiratory infections, diarrhoea, malaria and childhood and parasitic diseases helps prevent malnutrition.

Environmental health programmes that lead to safe water, safe waste disposal and adequate housing can reduce morbidity from various water- and faeces-borne infectious diseases. Water- and food-borne diseases are important causes of diarrhoea, as are many other infections due to bacteria, viruses, mycotoxins and parasites.

The accessibility, acceptability and adequacy of health services strongly influence whether people will utilize and benefit from them and whether people will alter their behaviour to improve their health. Community-based health care ensures the community members' active participation in the planning and implementation of their own health care, generates health awareness, mobilizes the community and successfully prevents infections through environmental changes and modification of harmful health practices. Community-based growth monitoring and prevention activities coupled with effective immunization programmes can be particularly important in the management and control of infectious diseases.

Caring for the socio-economically deprived and nutritionally vulnerable

Households and communities must be able to give the time, attention and support required to meet the physical, mental and social needs of children, the elderly and other family members. Each family member's knowledge, motivation and role within the household including his or her time constraints and control of resources, need to be considered in designing and implementing nutrition interventions.

In communities, adequate organization and caring capacity is an important determinant of the nutritional status of vulnerable groups and community efforts to address their own problems need to be encouraged and supported. Increased attention to new community care structures may be needed as urbanization and other social forces alter traditional patterns of family and community care. For instance, care is provided through voluntary and social welfare organizations. Other mechanisms include feeding programmes food subsidies and social security systems.

STRATEGIES TO ENHANCE SOCIETIES' CAPACITY TO PROVIDE CARE

· Recognize the effectiveness of traditional support systems in reducing workloads, providing economic assistance increasing knowledge and offering emotional support

· Design and implement national programmes for breast-feeding protection and promotion, e g baby-friendly hospital approaches and training programmes

· Form child care centres, work groups, cooperatives or informal networks for sharing tasks

· Develop appropriate technologies and improved infrastructure to reduce the demands on women's time and efforts

· Ensure that women have access to the resources and the education they need to care for themselves and their families

· Through legislation, strengthen women's rights to property and income, and provide social security for women wherever possible

· Provide Job and skills training for the disabled to prevent dependency

· Promote family and community organizations that help people to cope with their disabilities

· Enlist international agencies to help refugees and displaced persons meet their basic needs and become self-reliant

Policies to improve care for nutritionally vulnerable individuals, such as infants, young children, mothers the disabled and the elderly, are needed. The implementation of such policies often requires strengthening of community, national and international capabilities and institutions.

Analyzing and monitoring nutrition situations

Information related to nutrition is needed for a variety of purposes, such as identifying chronic nutritional problems and causes; predicting and detecting short-term or acute nutritional problems; targeting population groups for both short-term relief efforts and longer-term policy and programme development; and monitoring changes and evaluating the impact of interventions and development programmes.

Efforts to assess and monitor nutritional status and other nutritionally relevant factors must be cost effective, timely and directed towards specific goals such as preparation of development plans and budget decisions. Generally, the most practical approach to nutrition monitoring is to use a minimum number of indicators and to focus on those that lend themselves to regular assessment.

During food crises, timely commitment of resources for public works and food distribution is required. Often, the most important early warning signals are based on forecasts of food availability and price indicators. While assessing the food security status of specific households may be difficult, monitoring changes in food prices is relatively simple and can be a useful indicator in many national early warning systems.

Information about the implementation and cost-effectiveness of programmes aimed at resolving particular nutritional problems or targeted at a particular group or geographic area is important. An appropriate institutional capacity is central to nutrition monitoring. Many countries are establishing food and nutrition information systems, generally starting with data on food availability and childhood undernutrition. Often, with the use of established data sources and information systems, a more multifaceted system can be developed in accordance with a country's priorities and resources.

Food security is assessed at the global level with two objectives to advocate the allocation of resources to address hunger and malnutrition; and to alert donors of impending food crises. These assessments are based on various sources such as FAO's food balance sheet procedures and the Global Information and Early Warning System for Food and Agriculture (GIEWS).


In the Horn of Africa, many have fled natural and human disasters and sought assistance at emergency feeding centres. - Dans la corne de l'Afrique, nombreux sont ceux qui ont fuites catastrophes naturelles et anthropiques et cherché assistance dans les centres d'alimentation d'urgence. - En el Cuerno de Africa son muchos los que han huido de las catástrofes de origen natural y humano y han buscado ayuda en los centros de alimentación para situaciones de emergencia. (Photo/Foto: E. Muehlhoff)

DISPLACED PERSONS FACE SEVERE NUTRITION PROBLEMS

Often the worst problems of protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) and micronutrient deficiencies are found among refugees and other displaced persons. Increasingly, drought and other environmental hazards, as well as internal or International social upheavals, cause people to flee their communities, Monitoring of areas that are especially vulnerable to food shortages and of populations considered to be nutritionally at risk is essential.

The total number of refugees dependent upon international assistance has Increased rapidly over the past two decades. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that there were 2.5 million refugees at the end of 1970 while there were 8 2 million ten years later. By 1992, the total number of assisted refugees had risen to an estimated 19 5 million.

Because of increasing difficulties, more refugees remain for longer periods of time in conditions of at least partial food aid dependency. Host countries may not be in a position to take responsibility for immigrants, and international organizations lack sufficient resources to provide full rations to meet their nutritional needs. Only the development of international policies, arrangements and resources can address these tragic situations.

MEETING THE NUTRITION CHALLENGE

Governments, non-governmental organizations, local communities, the private sector and the international community, including international organizations, can contribute to meeting the nutrition challenge. Three main types of action can be developed: first, nutrition objectives and actions can be incorporated into national, sectoral and integrated development plans and the necessary human and financial resources can be allocated for achieving these objectives; second, specific nutritional interventions can be developed which are directed at particular problems or groups, and third, community-based actions for nutritional assessment of problems and the implementation of appropriate measures can be initiated.

Governments are involved primarily through sectoral activities, especially in the fields of agriculture, health, education and social welfare. Ministries could seek to enhance the nutritional impact of their policies, programmes or projects. Each country needs to evaluate its own experiences and processes of intersectoral cooperation and to strengthen them as necessary, in the light of their needs and resources.

Non-governmental organizations often foster innovative activities at the grassroots level. However, there are problems of replication of NGO projects and the need for generating a wider impact. NGOs should strive for full integration in the national system and cooperation with others.

Consumer organizations can initiate a dialogue with the food industry and distribution network agents Most food and agricultural production is carried out by private farmers. The contribution of private industries in ensuring good food processing, food quality and safety and nutritious products as well as in supporting research in nutrition is significant. Although the government is responsible for legislation regarding the quality and safety of food and its labelling, marketing and advertising, the implementation and monitoring of these measures are primarily in the hands of the private sector and consumers. Discussion among the government, consumers and private industry is essential and cooperation is required for sustainable improvements.

Through UN agencies and bilateral organizations, the international community can support national efforts to address nutrition problems. Development assistance can be a powerful vehicle for attaining nutrition objectives, but amounts have remained disappointingly small relative to the need, and the extent to which aid will be allocated for poverty alleviation is not yet clear. Also, the efficiency of distributing aid and its effectiveness could be enhanced.

PRINCIPLES FOR INCORPORATING NUTRITION INTO NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

· Pursue policies, for sustainable economic and social development, with emphasis on growth with equity

· Promote local community participation

· Strengthen technical and managerial capacities both at the community level and at intermediate levels of government

· Focus on human resource development and training

· Improve the status of women

· Foster intersectoral action and partnership among agencies

· Incorporate nutritional objectives in sectoral policies and programmes

· Enhance the role of consumers and consumer education

· Ensure commitment on the part of governments and the international community

The challenge to alleviate hunger and malnutrition is formidable, but the goal is attainable through concerted action by governments, local communities, NGOs and the private sector. What is needed is a mutual commitment to improving human welfare and the recognition that nutritional status is a fundamental indicator of development. The present trend towards grassroots democracy offers a precious opportunity for people to participate fully in development and to take initiative towards improving their nutritional situations.

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Berg, A. 1987 Malnutrition - what can be done? Lessons from World Bank experience, Baltimore, MD, USA, Johns Hopkins University Press for the World Bank.

Chambers, R., Longhurst, R. & Pacey, A., eds. 1981. Seasonal dimensions to rural poverty, London, Frances Pinter.

Chen, L.C. & Scrimshaw, N., eds. 1983. Diarrhoea and malnutrition: interaction, mechanisms and interventions, New York Plenum Press.

Cornia, G., Jolly, R. & Stewart, F. 1987; 1988. Adjustment with a human face Vol. 1 Protecting the vulnerable and promoting growth, Vol. 2 Country case studies. Oxford, UK, Clarendon Press.

Demery, L. & Addison, T. 1987. The alleviation of poverty under structural adjustment. Washington, DC, World Bank.

Dreze, J.& Sen, A.1989. Hunger and public action. Oxford, Clarendon Press.

FAO. 1982. Malnutrition: its nature, causes, magnitude and policy implications. COAG/83/6 Rome .

FAO. 1984. Integrating nutrition into agricultural and rural development projects: six case studies. Nutrition in Agriculture No 2 Rome.

FAO 1985. The Fifth World Food Survey. Rome.

FAO. 1991. Agricultural issues in structural adjustment programs. FAO Economic and Social Development Paper No. 66. Rome.

FAO. 1992. The State of Food and Agriculture 1991. Rome.

Gross, R. & Monteiro, C.A. 1989. Urban nutrition in developing countries: some lessons to learn. UNU Food Nutr. Bull., 11(2): 14-20.

Heller, P. & Drake, W. 1979. Malnutrition, child morbidity and the family decision process, J. Dev. Econ., 6: 203-235.

Lipton, M. 1983. Poverty, undernutrition and hunger. World Bank Staff Working Paper No. 597, Washington, DC, World Bank.

Lipton, M. & Longhurst, R. 1989, New seeds and poor people. Baltimore, MD, USA, Johns Hopkins University Press.

Longhurst, R. 1984. The energy trap: work, nutrition and child malnutrition in northern Nigeria. Cornell International Nutrition Monograph Series No. 13, Ithaca, NY, USA, Cornell University.

Maxwell, S., ed. 1990. Food security in developing countries. IDS Bull., Vol. 21, No. 3.

McGuire, J. & Popkin, B. 1990. Helping women improve nutrition in the developing world: beating the zero sum game. World Bank Technical Paper No. 114. Washington, DC, World Bank.

Pinstrup-Andersen, P., ed. 1988. Food subsidies in developing countries: costs, benefits and policy options. Washington, DC, Johns Hopkins University Press for IFPRI.

Prema, K., Bamji, M.S. & Damodaram, M. 1981. Nutrition, fertility and mortality: a review. Rome, FAO.

Sahn, D.E., ed. 1989. Seasonal variability in Third World agriculture: the consequences for food security. Baltimore, MD, USA, Johns Hopkins University Press.

Sahn, D. & Alderman, H. 1988. The effects of human capital on wages, and the determinants of labor supply in a developing country, J. Dev, Econ., 29: 157-183.

UN ACC/SCN. 1987. First report on the world nutrition situation. Geneva.

UN ACC/SCN. 1989. Update on the nutrition situation: recent trends in nutrition in 33 countries. Geneva.

UNDP. 1991. Human development report. New York.

UNICEF. 1991. State of the world's children. New York.

von Braun, J. & Kennedy, E. 1986. Commercialization of subsistence agriculture: income and nutritional effects in developing countries. Washington, DC, IFPRI.

WHO. 1982. Prevention of coronary heart disease. WHO Technical Report Series No. 678. Geneva.

WHO. 1986. Community prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases. WHO Technical Report Series No. 732. Geneva.

Nutrition et développement: Un défi mondial

En dépit de la baisse de la proportion et du nombre absolu des victimes de la sous-alimentation chronique dans le monde, la faim et la malnutrition demeurent les problèmes les plus dévastateurs auxquels se heurtent les pauvres du globe. Pour les régions en développement, le nombre estimé des victimes de la malnutrition chronique est tombé de 941 millions à 786 millions en 20 ans. La dénutrition peut retarder la croissance, réduire l'activité physique, affaiblir la résistance aux infections, accroître la morbidité et être la cause d'invalidités et de décès. Les maladies diarrhéiques, la rougeole, les infections respiratoires aiguës, la tuberculose et le syndrome d'immuno-déficience acquise (SIDA). ont des effets considérables sur l'état nutritionnel, tout comme les parasitoses telles que le paludisme, l'ankylostomiase, l'ascaridiose, l'amibiase et la bilharziose.

Des soins et des pratiques alimentaires appropriés exigent du temps de l'attention et un soutien. Pour venir en aide aux enfants et à d'autres qui ne sont pas en mesure de se prendre en charge, il faut utiliser les ressources d'une façon efficace. L'éducation nutritionnelle peut être un moyen adéquat et utile de faire obstacle et de remédier aux problèmes nutritionnels. De façon générale, l'éducation des femmes peut permettre d'améliorer la nutrition.

Environ les deux tiers de la population des pays en développement vivent en milieu rural ou les cultures et la production animale la pêche et les forêts sont des sources directes d'aliments et de revenu. Même lorsque le développement agricole met l'accent sur l'accroissement de la production globale. l'augmentation de la consommation des ménages pauvres et la création de moyens d'existence durables devraient être des objectifs explicites pour obtenir une amélioration de la nutrition. Les besoins de main-d'oeuvre dans le secteur agricole peuvent être un élément clé du bien-être nutritionnel.

Les efforts concertés déployés en vue de réduire les inégalités sociales et la pauvreté, causes premières de la malnutrition, pourraient permettre de trouver des solutions durables aux problèmes nutritionnels. Afin que les interventions nutritionnelles soient efficaces il faudrait mettre en oeuvre des politiques de développement général et sectoriel, car un programme visant à améliorer l'alimentation la santé ou les soins peut être mené à bien, mais il ne parvient pas à avoir une incidence appréciable si l'environnement général n'est pas favorable à la nutrition. Les obstacles au commerce international portent atteinte aux rentrées de devises, à l'emploi et au PNB. La libéralisation des échanges, notamment pour les produits agricoles, peut contribuer à la sécurité alimentaire de l'ensemble des pays en développement.

La croissance du revenu national peut améliorer le niveau de vie et le bien-être individuel, car elle augmente la demande de biens et de services et crée des emplois; ainsi, le nombre de ceux qui sont en mesure de satisfaire leurs besoins en matière d'alimentation, de soins de santé et de logements hygiéniques et salubres progresse, Les politiques macro-économiques qui défavorisent les secteurs de l'agriculture et de la santé peuvent porter préjudice à la nutrition. Non seulement les pauvres souffrent le plus des déséquilibres macro-économiques, mais encore le poids de l'ajustement structurel pèse souvent sur eux de façon disproportionnée. Des programmes compensatoires (programmes d'alimentation complémentaire, de soins de santé élargis et de création de revenus) peuvent être nécessaires lorsque des effets négatifs se font sentir. La croissance dans l'équité devrait faire partie intégrante de toute stratégie de développement. Chaque pays peut mettre au point des stratégies et des mesures visant a améliorer la nutrition, en fonction de ses exigences, ressources et conditions particulières. Néanmoins, certains domaines d'action communs pour protéger et promouvoir le bien-être nutritionnel ont été identifiés et décrits; il s'agit notamment d'améliorer la sécurité alimentaire des ménages, de protéger les consommateurs grâce à la qualité améliorée et à l'innocuité des denrées, d'éliminer les carences en iode et en vitamine A et de réduire sensiblement les carences en fer au cours de cette décennie de promouvoir des régimes alimentaires appropries et des styles de vie sains de prévenir et de gérer les maladies infectieuses de renforcer 1 aptitude des individus des communautés et des nations a protéger les groupes socio-économiques défavorises et vulnérables sur le plan nutritionnel et enfin d'évaluer d'analyser et de suivre la situation alimentaire.

Si les gouvernements les organisations non gouvernementales les communautés locales le secteur prive et la communauté internationale oeuvrent tous ensemble au bien être de l'homme il sera possible de relever le défi de la nutrition. L'état nutritionnel devrait être reconnu comme un indicateur fondamental du développement. La tendance actuelle a la démocratie au niveau local offre aux populations une chance précieuse de participer pleinement au développement et de prendre l'initiative en vue d'améliorer leur état nutritionnel.

Nutrición y desarrollo: Un reto mundial

A pesar de que a nivel mundial se han reducido tanto la proporción como el número absoluto de personas crónicamente desnutridas, el hambre y la malnutrición siguen siendo los problemas más devastadores que aquejan a los pobres del mundo. Se ha estimado que en las regiones en desarrollo el número de personas que padecen desnutrición crónica descendió de 941 millones a 786 millones en un lapso de 20 años. La desnutrición puede ocasionar retrasos en el crecimiento y en el desarrollo, reducir la actividad física, menoscabar la resistencia a las infecciones, acrecentar la morbilidad, y llevar a la invalidez y a la muerte. Por otra parte, las enfermedades diarreas, el sarampión, las infecciones respiratorias agudas la tuberculosis y el síndrome de inmunodeficiencia adquirida (SIDA) tienen repercusiones importantes sobre el estado nutricional, al igual que la malaria la anquilostomiasis, la ascariasis, la amibiasis y la esquistosomiasis.

Los cuidados y practicas de alimentación adecuados requieren tiempo atención y apoyo Para ayudar a los niños y otras personas que quizá no estén en condiciones de cuidarse solas es necesario utilizar los recursos de manera eficiente La enseñanza nutricional puede constituir un instrumento apropiado y eficaz para prevenir y resolver los problemas nutricionales de hecho en general es posible obtener mejoras en la nutrición proporcionando una adecuada enseñanza a las mujeres.

Aproximadamente dos tercios de la población de los países en desarrollo reside en zonas rurales donde las fuentes directas de alimentos e ingresos son la agricultura la ganadería la pesca y las actividades forestales. Incluso cuando el desarrollo agrícola acentúa el aumento de la producción global, habría que adoptar como metas explícitas el incremento del consumo de las familias pobres y la creación de medios de subsistencia sostenibles a fin de asegurar la obtención de beneficios nutricionales. El nivel de empleo en agricultura puede constituir un factor determinante del bienestar nutricional.

Es posible encontrar soluciones duraderas para los problemas nutricionales mediante esfuerzos concertados por reducir las desigualdades sociales y la pobreza, causa fundamental de la malnutrición. A fin de asegurar la eficacia de las intervenciones en materia de nutrición, es necesario tener en cuenta las políticas generales y sectoriales de desarrollo, ya que es posible que un programa destinado a mejorar la alimentación, la salud o la atención sanitaria, por más que su ejecución sea exitosa, no consiga producir efectos apreciables si el contexto general en que se aplica no es favorable a la nutrición. Tanto los ingresos en divisas como el empleo y el PNB se ven afectados por las barreras al comercio internacional. La liberalización del comercio, especialmente de productos agrícolas, puede tener repercusiones favorables sobre la seguridad alimentaria de los países en desarrollo en su conjunto.

El incremento de los ingresos nacionales está en condiciones de elevar los niveles de vida y el bienestar individual, ya que, al crear una mayor demanda de bienes y servicios y generar más empleos, permite a la población satisfacer sus necesidades de alimentos, atención sanitaria y viviendas seguras e higiénicas. Las políticas económicas que discriminan a la agricultura y a los sectores relacionados con la salud pueden afectar negativamente a la nutrición. A pesar de que los pobres son los que más sufren las consecuencias de los desequilibrios macroeconómicos, es frecuente que deban soportar una parte desproporcionadamente grande del peso del reajuste estructural. Ante estos efectos negativos, puede ser necesario aplicar programas de compensación social (por ejemplo, programas de alimentación suplementaria, ampliación de la atención sanitaria y/o programas de generación de ingresos). Al igual que el crecimiento, la equidad debe ser parte integrante de las estrategias de desarrollo.

Cada país puede formular estrategias y medidas para mejorar la nutrición de acuerdo con sus necesidades recursos y circunstancias particulares. No obstante se han identificado y descrito ciertas esferas de acción comunes para la protección y promoción del bienestar nutricional entre ellas mejorar la seguridad alimentaria familiar proteger a los consumidores aumentando la calidad e inocuidad de los alimentos eliminar las carencias de yodo y vitamina. A y reducir considerablemente la carencia de hierro en el curso del presente decenio promover dietas apropiadas y formas de vida saludables prevenir y curar las enfermedades infecciosas acrecentar la capacidad de los individuos comunidades y naciones para prestar asistencia a las personas necesitadas desde el punto de vista socioeconómico, y nutricionalmente vulnerables y evaluar analizar y vigilar las situaciones relativas a la nutrición.

El compromiso común de los gobiernos las organizaciones no gubernamentales las comunidades locales el sector privado y la comunidad internacional por mejorar el bienestar humano puede ayudar a hacer frente al reto de la nutrición. El estado nutricional de la población debe reconocerse como indicador fundamental del desarrollo Además la tendencia actual hacia una democracia con base popular brinda a la población una ocasión sumamente valiosa de participar plenamente en el proceso de desarrollo y tomar iniciativas destinadas a mejorar su situación nutricional.

(introduction...)

1 This document is also available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish. To obtain copies contact the FAO Food Policy and Nutrition Division.

Ce document est également disponible en français, en arabe, en chinois, en espagnol et en russe. Pour en obtenir des exemplaires, s'adresser à la Division des politiques alimentaires et de la nutrition.

Este documento existe también en árabe, chino, español, francés y ruso. Pueden obtenerse ejemplares, solicitándolos a la Dirección de Política Alimentaria y Nutrición.


The ICN Declaration and Plan of Action were announced to the press. From left: Ibrahim Adam, Chairperson of the Commission of the Whole of ICN; Edouard Saouma, Director-General, FAO; Simone Veil, Chairperson of the ICN; Hiroshi Nakajima, Director-General, WHO. - La Déclaration et le Plan d'action de la CIN ont été annoncés à la presse. De gauche à droite: M. Ibrahim Adam, Président de la Commission plénière de la CIN; M. Edouard Saouma, Directeur général de la FAO; Mme Simone Veil, Présidente de la CIN; M. Hiroshi Nakajima, Directeur général de l'OMS. - Se anunciaron a la prensa la Declaración y el Plan de Acción de la CIN. De izquierda a derecha: el Sr. Ibrahim Adam, Presidente de la Comisión Plenaria de la CIN; et Sr. Edouard Saouma, Director General de la FAO; la Sra. Simone Veil, Presidenta de la CIN, y el Sr. Hiroshi Nakajima, Director General de la OMS.

1. We, the Ministers and the Plenipotentiaries representing 159 states and the European Economic Community at the International Conference on Nutrition (Rome, December 1992), declare our determination to eliminate hunger and to reduce all forms of malnutrition. Hunger and malnutrition are unacceptable in a world that has both the knowledge and the resources to end this human catastrophe, We recognize that access to nutritionally adequate and safe food is a right of each individual. We recognize that globally there is enough food for all and that inequitable access is the main problem, Bearing in mind the right to an adequate standard of living, including food, contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we pledge to act in solidarity to ensure that freedom from hunger becomes a reality, We also declare our firm commitment to work together to ensure sustained nutritional well-being for all people in a peaceful, just and environmentally safe world.

2 Despite appreciable worldwide improvements in life expectancy, adult literacy and nutritional status, we all view with the deepest concern the unacceptable fact that about 780 million people in developing countries - 20 percent of their combined population - still do not have access to enough food to meet their basic daily needs for nutritional well-being.

3. We are especially distressed by the high prevalence and increasing numbers of malnourished children under five years of age in parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. Moreover, more than 2000 million people, mostly women and children, are deficient in one or more micronutrients: babies continue to be born mentally retarded as a result of iodine deficiency; children go blind and die of vitamin. A deficiency; and enormous numbers of women and children are adversely affected by iron deficiency. Hundreds of millions of people also suffer from communicable and non-communicable diseases caused by contaminated food and water. At the same time, chronic non-communicable diseases related to excessive or unbalanced dietary intakes often lead to premature deaths in both developed and developing countries.

4. We call on the United Nations to consider urgently the issue of declaring an International Decade of Food and Nutrition, within existing structures and available resources, in order to give additional emphasis to achieving the objectives of this World Declaration on Nutrition. Such consideration should give particular emphasis to the food and nutrition problems of Africa, and of Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

5. We recognize that poverty and the lack of education, which are often the effects of underdevelopment, are the primary causes of hunger and undernutrition. There are poor people in most societies who do not have adequate access to food, safe water and sanitation, health services and education, which are the basic requirements for nutritional well-being.

6. We commit ourselves to ensuring that development programmes and policies lead to a sustainable improvement in human welfare, are mindful of the environment and are conducive to better nutrition and health for present and future generations. The multifunctional roles of agriculture, especially with regard to food security, nutrition, sustainable agriculture and the conservation of natural resources, are of particular importance in this context. We must implement at family, household, community, national and international levels, coherent agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries, food, nutrition, health, education, population, environmental, economic and social policies and programmes to achieve and maintain balance between the population and available resources and between rural and urban areas.

7. Slow progress in solving nutrition problems reflects the lack of human and financial resources, institutional capacity and policy commitment in many countries needed to assess the nature, magnitude and causes of nutrition problems and to implement concerted programmes to overcome them. Basic and applied scientific research, as well as food and nutrition surveillance systems, are needed to more clearly identify the factors that contribute to the problems of malnutrition and the ways and means of eliminating these problems, particularly for women, children and aged persons.

8. In addition, nutritional well-being is hindered by the continuation of social, economic and gender disparities; of discriminatory practices and laws; of floods, cyclones, drought, desertification and other natural calamities; and of many countries inadequate budgetary allocations for agriculture, health, education and other social services.

9. Wars, occupations, civil disturbances and natural disasters, as well as human rights violations and inappropriate socio-economic policies, have resulted in tens of millions of refugees, displaced persons, war-affected non-combatant civilian populations and migrants, who are among the most nutritionally vulnerable groups. Resources for rehabilitating and caring for these groups are often extremely inadequate and nutritional deficiencies are common. All responsible parties should cooperate to ensure the safe and timely passage and distribution of appropriate food and medical supplies to those in need, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

10. Changing world conditions and the reduction of international tensions have improved the prospects for a peaceful solution of conflicts and have given us an opportunity as never before to redirect our resources increasingly towards productive and socially useful purposes to ensure the nutritional well-being of all people, especially the poor, deprived and vulnerable.

11. We recognize that the nutritional well-being of all people is a pre-condition for the development of societies and that it should be a key objective of progress in human development, It must be at the center of our socio-economic development plans and strategies. Success is dependent on fostering the participation of the people and the community and multisectoral actions at all levels, taking into account their long-term effects. Shorter-term measures to improve nutritional well-being may need to be initiated or strengthened to complement the benefits resulting from longer-term development efforts.

12 Policies and programmes must be directed towards those most in need. Our priority should be to implement people-focused policies and programmes that increase access to and control of resources by the rural and urban poor, raise their productive capacity and incomes and strengthen their capacity to care for themselves. We must support and promote initiatives by people and communities and ensure that the poor participate in decisions that affect their lives. We fully recognize the importance of the family unit in providing adequate food, nutrition and a proper caring environment to meet the physical, mental, emotional and social needs of children and other vulnerable groups, including the elderly. In circumstances where the family unit can no longer fulfil these responsibilities adequately, the community and/or government should offer a support network to the vulnerable. We, therefore, undertake to strengthen and promote the family unit as the basic unit of society.

13 The right of women and adolescent girls to adequate nutrition is crucial. Their health and education must be improved. Women should be given the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process and to have increased access to and control of resources. It is particularly important to provide family planning services to both men and women and to provide support for women, especially working women, whether paid or unpaid, throughout pregnancy and breast-feeding and during the early childhood period. Men should also be motivated through appropriate education to assume an active role in the promotion of nutritional well-being.

14 Food aid may be used to assist in emergencies, to provide relief to refugees and displaced persons and to support household food security and community and economic development. Countries receiving emergency food aid should be provided with sufficient resources to enable them to move on from the rehabilitation phase to development, so that they will be in a position to cope with future emergencies. Care must be taken to avoid creating dependency and to avoid negative impacts on food habits and on local food production and marketing. Before food aid is reduced or discontinued, steps should be taken to alert recipient countries as much in advance as possible so that they can identify alternative sources and implement other approaches. Where appropriate, food aid may be channeled through NGOs with local and popular participation, in accordance with the domestic legislation of each country.

15 We reaffirm our obligations as nations and as an international community to protect and respect the need for nutritionally adequate food and medical supplies for civilian populations situated in zones of conflict We affirm in the context of international humanitarian law that food must not be used as a tool for political pressure. Food aid must not be denied because of political affiliation, geographic location, gender, age, ethnic, tribal or religious identity.

16 We recognize the fact that each government has the prime responsibility to protect and promote food security and the nutritional well-being of its people, especially the vulnerable groups. However, we also stress that such efforts of low-income countries should be supported by actions of the international community as a whole Such actions should include an increase in official development assistance in order to reach the accepted United Nations target of 0.7 percent of the GNP of developed countries as reiterated at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development 2. Also, further renegotiation or alleviation of external debt could contribute in a substantive manner to the nutritional well-being in medium-income countries as well as in low-income ones.

2 "Developed countries reaffirm their commitments to reach the accepted United Nations target of 0 7 percent of GNP for ODA and, to the extent that they have not yet achieved that target, agree to augment their aid programmes in order to reach that target as soon as possible and to ensure prompt and effective implementation of Agenda 21. Some countries have agreed to reach the target by the year 2000. Those countries that have already reached the target are to be commended and encouraged to continue to contribute to the common effort to make available the substantial additional resources that have to be mobilized. Other developed countries, in line with their support for reform efforts in developing countries, agree to make their best efforts to increase their level of ODA. ..." (Report of United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, 1992, paragraph 33 13).

17 We acknowledge the importance of further liberalization and expansion of world trade, which would increase foreign exchange earnings and employment in developing countries. Compensatory measures will continue to be needed to protect adversely affected developing countries and vulnerable groups in medium-and low-income countries from negative effects of structural adjustment programmes.

18 We reaffirm the objectives for human development, food security, agriculture, rural development, health, nutrition and environment and sustainable development enunciated in a number of international conferences and documents 3. We reiterate our commitment to the nutritional goals of the Fourth United Nations Development Decade and the World Summit for Children 4.

3 The World Food Conference, 1974; the Alma Ata Conference on Primary Health Care, 1978; the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development, 1979; the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, 1979, especially articles 12 and 13; the Innocent Declaration on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding, 1990; the Montreal Policy Conference on Micronutrient Malnutrition, 1991; the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, 1992.

4 See Annex.

19. As a basis for the Plan of Action for Nutrition and guidance for formulation of national plans of action, including the development of measurable goals and objectives within time frames, we pledge to make all efforts to eliminate before the end of this decade:

· famine and famine-related deaths;

· starvation and nutritional deficiency diseases in communities affected by natural and man-made disasters;

· iodine and vitamin A deficiencies, We also pledge to reduce substantially within this decade:

· starvation and widespread chronic hunger;

· undernutrition, especially among children, women and the aged;

· other important micronutrient deficiencies, including iron;

· diet-related communicable and non-communicable diseases;

· social and other impediments to optimal breast-feeding;

· inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene, including unsafe drinking-water.

20. We resolve to promote active cooperation among governments, multilateral, bilateral and non-governmental organizations, the private sector, communities and individuals to eliminate progressively the causes that lead to the scandal of hunger and all forms of malnutrition in the midst of abundance.

21. With a clear appreciation of the intrinsic value of human life and the dignity it commands, we adopt the attached Plan of Action for Nutrition and affirm our determination to revise or prepare, before the end of 1994, our national plans of action, including attainable goals and measurable targets, based on the principles and relevant strategies in the attached Plan of Action for Nutrition. We pledge to implement it.

Annex

Nutrition goals of the Fourth United Nations

Development Decade

Member States must give effect to agreements already reached to make all efforts to meet four goals during the decade:

(a) To eliminate starvation and death caused by famine;
(b) To reduce malnutrition and mortality among children substantially;
(c) To reduce chronic hunger tangibly;
(d) To eliminate major nutritional diseases.

Nutrition goals of the World Summit for Children (to be reached by the year 2000)

(a) Reduction in severe. a swell as moderate malnutrition among under-five children by half of 1990 levels;

(b) Reduction of the rate of low birth weight (2.5 kg or less) to less than 10 percent;

(c) Reduction of iron deficiency anemia in women by one-third of the 1990 levels;

(d) Virtual elimination of iodine deficiency disorders;

(e) Virtual elimination of vitamin A deficiency and its consequences, including blindness;

(f) Empowerment of all women to breast-feed their children exclusively for four to six months and to continue breast-feeding, with complementary food, well into the second year;

(g) Growth promotion and its regular monitoring to be institutionalized in all countries by the end of the 1990s;

(h) Dissemination of knowledge and supporting services to increase food production to ensure household food security.

(introduction...)

1 This document is also available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish To obtain copies contact the FAO Food Policy and Nutrition Division.

Ce document est également disponible en français, en arabe, en chinois, en espagnol et en russe Pour en obtenir des exemplaires, s'adresser à la Division des politiques alimentaires et de la nutrition.

Este documento existe también en árabe, chino, español, francés y ruso. Pueden obtenerse ejemplares, solicitándolos a la Dirección de Política Alimentaria y Nutrición.

I. Introduction

1. GENERAL

1 Despite considerable progress in recent decades, the world still falls far short of the goal of adequate food and nutrition for all. Over 780 million people, mainly in Africa, South Asia and Latin America, do not have enough food to meet their basic daily needs for energy and protein. More than two billion people subsist on diets that lack the essential vitamins and minerals required for normal growth and development and for the prevention of premature death and disabilities such as blindness and mental retardation. At the same time hundreds of millions suffer from diseases caused or exacerbated by excessive or unbalanced dietary intakes or by the consumption of unsafe food and water.

2. Eradicating hunger and malnutrition is within the reach of humankind. Political will and well-conceived policies and concerted actions at national and international levels can have a dramatic impact on these nutrition problems. Many countries, including some of the poorest, have adopted and taken measures to strengthen food, nutrition, agriculture, education and health and family welfare programmes, which have dramatically reduced hunger and malnutrition. The current challenge is to build upon and accelerate the progress already made.

3. This global Plan of Action for Nutrition is designed to provide guidelines for governments, acting in partnership with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector, local communities, families and households and the international community, including international organizations, multilateral financing institutions and bilateral agencies, to achieve the objectives of the World Declaration on Nutrition adopted by the International Conference on Nutrition (ICN) It contains recommendations on policies, programmes and activities that resulted from an intensive ICN consultative process involving country-level preparations of national plans and regional consultations that included country representatives. It also represents the drawing together of a wide range of expert opinion from around the world on the many facets of problems that must be vigorously attacked to achieve proper nutritional status for all on a sustainable basis. Thus, this Plan of Action builds upon preceding work and represents a major step in preparing and implementing national nutrition improvement plans in coming years.

4 Coherent and effective action at local, national and international levels to achieve nutritional well-being is imperative However, resources, needs and problems vary between and within countries and regions of the world. Therefore, the situation in each country and region needs to be assessed in order to set priorities for formulating specific national and regional plans of action, giving tangible expression to policy-level commitments to improve the nutritional well-being of the population. This should entail considering nutritional impacts of overall development plans and of all relevant sectoral development policies and plans. These plans should identify short- and long-term priority areas for action; specify goals, which should be quantified where feasible, to be achieved within specified time frames, define the roles of relevant government ministries, local communities and private institutions, and, as appropriate, include estimates of resources that are required. The plans should take into account the goals set forth in the World Declaration on Nutrition and be formulated by governments with the active participation of academic and local communities, NGOs and the private sector.

2. Overall objectives

Ensuring continued access by all people to sufficient supplies of safe foods for a nutritionally adequate diet

5 To achieve satisfactory nutritional status, it is essential to ensure continued access to sufficient supplies of a variety of safe foods at affordable prices and of safe drinking-water so that all people, especially the poor and vulnerable groups, can have nutritionally adequate and safe diets. This is an issue of supreme importance to the many millions of people worldwide who currently suffer from persistent hunger, malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency diseases and to those others who are at risk of suffering in the future.

Achieving and maintaining health and nutritional well-being of all people

6. Good nutritional status is dependent upon each person having appropriate intakes of macronutrients and micronutrients, combined with adequate health and care and access to safe drinking-water. Nutritional status also depends on the availability of sufficient knowledge about appropriate diets, taking into account local food habits to prevent problems of undernutrition and of diet-related non-communicable diseases. Healthy and properly nourished people are both the result of successful development and contributors to it. Nutritional well-being should be adopted as a key objective in human development and must be at the centre of development strategies, plans and priorities.

Achieving environmentally sound and socially sustainable development to contribute to improved nutrition and health

7. Development policies and programmes in developed and developing countries should be sustainable and environmentally sound and lead to improved nutrition and health for both present and future generations. Equally important is the implementation of agricultural, food, health, family welfare, population, education and development policies that will achieve and maintain a balanced relationship between population needs and available resources as well as between rural and urban areas.

Eliminating famines and famine deaths

8. Food emergencies that deteriorate into famines are, in many cases, an indication of a lack of emergency preparedness. While the development of national early warning systems and the existence of emergency food reserves can help to avoid famines, other factors, such as open political environments at local and central levels and a free press, are crucial.

II. Major policy guidelines

Commitment to promoting nutritional well-being

9. Each country should make firm social, economic and political commitments to achieving the objective of promoting the nutritional well-being of all its people as an integral part of its development policies, plans and programmes in the short and long run. At the same time, agriculture, health, education and social welfare, as well as all other relevant sectors and ministries, should consider and, where appropriate, incorporate nutrition objectives into their plans, programmes and projects.

They should also strengthen their capacity to foster public awareness and social responsiveness as well as to implement and monitor the progress of these programmes and projects. Equally necessary is ensuring coordination through adequate mechanisms to harmonize, promote and monitor programmes of different ministries, NGOs and the private sector to improve nutritional status.

Strengthening agricultural policies

10. Agricultural and overall economic policies should seek to preserve and enhance the productive capacity of agriculture where appropriate, to foster the sustainable growth of agricultural productivity and to create conditions that enable the agricultural sector to fulfil its multifunctional role as a source of food, employment, income and natural products delivered through sound natural resource management. Problems of local food shortages should be addressed through a judicious combination of production, trade and appropriate levels of national, regional and local stocks, with due regard given to the principles of an open international economic system.

Environmentally sound and sustainable development

11. Assuring access to adequate and safe food supplies, health care, education and related services can and must be achieved by using sustainable measures that are environmentally sound. This requires careful planning and utilization of natural resources to meet the nutritional and other needs of the growing world population on a lasting basis without jeopardizing the capacity to meet the needs of future generations, Providing incentives and motivating farmers to adopt sustainable and efficient practices are essential.

Growth with equity: the need for both economic growth and equitable sharing of benefits by all segments of the population

12. Development strategies to reduce poverty and ensure better nutrition for all should be oriented towards achieving economic growth with equity, ensuring social justice and protecting and promoting the well-being of all, particularly of vulnerable groups. Policies that discriminate against people on the basis of gender, age, ethnic or tribal group, religion, political affiliation or other grounds militate against social justice. All people in all societies must have equitable access to economic resources and opportunities, adequate and safe food, healthy living conditions and health services, clean water, sanitation and education and related services since these are basic requirements for nutritional well-being.

Priority given to the most nutritionally vulnerable groups

13 Infants, young children, pregnant and nursing women, disabled people and the elderly within poor households are the most nutritionally vulnerable groups Priority must be given to protecting and promoting their nutritional well-being. Towards this end, their access to adequate care within the household and to health, education and other basic social services, such as family planning, maternal and child health (MCH) clinics and social security schemes, should be ensured. Special attention must be given to the nutritional, health and educational needs of female children and adolescents, which have often been overlooked in the past. Other groups that may be at risk include some indigenous populations, refugees and displaced persons, and these groups may require particular care and services to ensure their nutritional well-being.

Focus on Africa

14. The dramatic deterioration of the nutrition situation in Africa is of serious concern and demonstrates the vulnerability of much of the African population. It calls for tangible and sustained support from the international community In this context, support should be given to the proposals for combating drought and desertification in Africa and in other countries facing similar situations adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992. This support must also be given to proposals to promote and protect agriculture and farmers' organizations. The initiative of the OAU, in cooperation with FAO, WHO, UNICEF and other relevant international organizations, to develop a Regional Nutrition Strategy emphasizing the need for the implementation of national plans of action is strongly commended and should be concretely supported.

People's participation

15. People-focused policies for nutritional improvement must acknowledge the fact that people's own knowledge, practices and creativity are important driving forces for social change. Local community involvement, including that of families and households, is a prerequisite for improving food production and sustaining access to food and for instituting adequate nutrition improvement programmes and projects. The importance of the informal sector in the processing and distribution of food should be recognized. Special efforts must be made to ensure the genuine participation of all people, particularly the poor and the marginalized, in the decisions and actions that are of concern to them in order to improve self-reliance and assure positive results. All relevant sectors of government should act in concert with communities and, as appropriate, with NGOs. Community involvement should lie not only in their indicating their perceived priorities but also in planning, managing and evaluating community-based interventions. Communities must be empowered to achieve sustained nutrition development People's needs should be the focus for all partners in development in the identification of problems and in the planning, implementation and evaluation of intervention.

Focus on women and gender equality

16. Women are inherently entitled to adequate nutrition in their own right as individuals. They need to constantly balance their reproductive, nurturing, educational and economic roles, which are so important to the health and nutritional well-being of the household and of the entire community. Indeed, they are the main providers of meals, care and nutrition information in the household and they have a fundamental role in assuring improved nutritional status for all. Women play a key role in the socio-economic development of rural areas and in many societies they are also the main producers of food. Special attention should be given to the nutrition of women during pregnancy and lactation. All forms of discrimination including detrimental traditional practices against women must be eliminated in accordance with the 1979 Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women In order to promote and ensure meaningful equality between men and women, women's roles in the community must be understood. This will facilitate the sharing of their workload and responsibilities with other household members. Equity in the allocation of food between girls and boys must be promoted Women and girls should be afforded equitable access to economic opportunities and to educational and training opportunities. Legal measures and social practices should guarantee women's equal participation in the development process by ensuring their access to and right to utilize productive resources, markets, credit, property and other family resources. Women and men should have equal access to programmes on family life education, which among other things would enable couples to plan the spacing of their children In addition to improving education of women, and taking into account the role of men in controlling resources and in determining the nutritional status of household members, the nutrition education of men and boys should be enhanced, FAO and WHO have been requested to participate actively in the Fourth World Conference on Women to be held in Beijing, the People's Republic of China, in 1995 and to provide documentation for that conference, in close collaboration with the World Bank, UNDP, UNICEF and other relevant UN bodies, on the importance of women's and young girls' nutritional well-being and health for their own development and for the social and economic development of their countries.

Development of human resources

17. Nutritional well-being is a prerequisite for the achievement of the full social, mental and physical potential of a population so that all people can lead fully productive lives and contribute to the development of the community and the nation with dignity. This implies that improving access to food supplies and to health, education and social services contributes to the development of people. It is also necessary to develop and strengthen capacities for planning, managing and evaluating activities, as well as for providing services, through the training of adequate numbers of personnel in relevant disciplines, particularly in food and nutritional sciences. It is also necessary to strengthen the teaching of nutrition in universities, medical and agricultural faculties, schools of health sciences and other concerned educational institutions.

Population policies

18. Population policies need to have pride of place in the strategy for ensuring adequate nutrition for all, at all times. Countries should devise appropriate population policies, programmes and family planning services to allow prospective parents to freely and knowingly determine the number of their children and the spacing of their births, taking into account the interests of present and future generations. Relevant international organizations are encouraged to participate actively in the World Conference on Population and Development to be held in Cairo, Egypt, in September 1994.

Health policies

19. Health is an essential element of human development requiring the action of many social and economic sectors in addition to that of the health sector. The gross inequality in the health status of people now existing between developed and developing countries as well as within countries is unacceptable and requires urgent political, social and economic attention. Inadequate health care can have serious adverse effects on nutritional status. Governments have a responsibility to protect and promote the health of their people and should formulate national policies, programmes and services in accordance with the strategy for Health for All 2.

2 Global strategy for Health for All by the year 2000, Health for All Series No. 3, WHO, Geneva, 1981.

Promoting nutritional well-being through strengthened economic and technical cooperation among countries

20. Increased economic and technical cooperation among countries can be of particular importance in promoting nutritional well-being. Regional discussions that were part of the preparations for the ICN highlighted the value of increased cooperation among developing countries and within and between regions in tackling common problems, in learning from each other's experiences and, where possible, in channeling regional resources to regional problems in the spirit of economic and technical cooperation among developing countries. Such cooperation exists in many regions and must be strengthened with appropriate support from international organizations. Increased economic and technical cooperation among developed and developing countries is also essential to decrease the existing disparities in the use of food resources.

Allocating adequate resources

21. To achieve the objective of nutritional well-being, it is essential that adequate financial, technical and in-kind resources for implementing necessary programmes and projects are provided, Each country should therefore make all efforts to allocate the resources needed for this purpose. As some of the programmes might need resources that are currently beyond the capacity of many developing countries, the international community, particularly bilateral agencies, multilateral financing institutions and international organizations, should support country efforts in this direction. Important ways in which the international community can assist include an increase in official development assistance in order to reach the accepted UN target of 0.7 percent of the GNP of developed countries as reiterated at the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development.

Economic assistance measures should be designed in such a way that they promote the long-term financial and economic stability of a recipient country.

III. Intersectoral issues

22. Improved nutrition requires the coordinated efforts of relevant government ministries, agencies and offices with mandates for agriculture, fisheries and livestock, food, health, water and public works, supplies, planning, finance, industry, education, information, social welfare and trade. It also requires the cooperation of universities and research institutions, food producers, processors and marketers, the health care community; educators at all levels; the media and NGOs involved in all of these sectors. Therefore, national intersectoral coordination mechanisms are needed to ensure the concerted implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies, plans and programmes. Community involvement is imperative in all aspects of planning and execution of nutrition improvement activities.

23. Many intersectoral issues must be addressed in policies and programmes to improve nutrition, with close cooperation and coordination by all. Among these issues are:

(a) creating, building and strengthening government institutions and community and private infrastructure to address nutritional problems, with special attention given to management and training skills;

(b) carrying out a wide range of nutrition training in the agriculture, health, economic and education sectors;

(c) using mass media to increase awareness and promote better nutrition;

(d) strengthening relevant research on identified problems and developing effective interventions through, inter alia, the building of institutional capacity and the provision of adequate financial support to research,

(e) strengthening educational systems and social communication mechanisms to improve and implement nutritional knowledge, especially at the individual, family and community levels,

(f) creating better monitoring and surveillance systems and mechanisms related to food, nutrition, health and education to assure positive policy and programme responses to surveillance and monitoring.

24 These common and essential issues are discussed as appropriate in the thematic areas in the following section of this Plan of Action.

IV. Strategies and actions

25 The basic goal of protecting and promoting nutritional well-being for all will be achieved only through a combination of policies involving various sectors at various levels of responsibility. Based on the worldwide consultations held in preparation for the ICN, actions to be considered by governments in their efforts to improve nutrition are presented below. These are grouped under nine action-oriented themes, allowing each sector and actor to determine how it can best address nutritional problems, taking into account the specific needs and conditions in each country.

1. Incorporating nutritional objectives, considerations and components into development policies and programmes

26. Significant improvements in nutrition can result from the incorporation of nutritional considerations into the broader policies of economic growth and development, structural adjustment, food and agricultural production, processing, storage and marketing of food, health care, education and social development. Such policies have an impact on nutrition through food availability and prices, incomes, environmental conditions and health status, care and feeding practices and other socio-economic factors. Development policies and programmes can also have varying impacts on the nutritional well-being of different population groups.

27. Efforts to improve nutritional well-being should be based on the recognition of improved human welfare in harmony with the environment and nature as the primary goal of social and economic development. While a population's nutritional status is determined by an array of social, economic, environmental and biological factors that affect its ability to acquire, consume and effectively utilize food adequate for its needs, a healthy well-nourished population is also essential for successful social and economic development Improving nutrition should therefore be seen both as a goal of development in its own right and as a means of achieving it. Recognizing that the sustainable development of food and nutrition security needs to be addressed simultaneously with economic growth, governments, in collaboration with all parties concerned and supported where necessary by appropriate legislative measures, should:

(a) Analyze the effects of macro-level policies and sectoral or integrated development plans on nutritional well-being, especially of the most vulnerable population groups. This would entail the elaboration of a common understanding of the relative importance of various determinants of nutritional status for different population groups and of how various policies may affect nutrition through their impacts on food security, health status, care and feeding practices.

(b) Increase awareness among policy-makers and planners of the extent and severity of nutritional problems and of their causes, of the economic benefit of interventions and of how activities under their control can affect the nutritional status of different socio-economic groups,

(c) In countries where it is appropriate to do so, incorporate clear nutrition goals and components in national development policies and sectoral plans, programmes and projects, particularly in the areas of food and agriculture, livestock, fisheries, forestry, rural and urban development, commerce, infrastructure, credit, water and sanitation, health, education, environmental and social welfare, and adopt benchmarks of success with clear time frames and budget allocations, as appropriate.

(d) In countries where the operation of the market as a mechanism for the coordination of production and the consumption of food is relied upon, develop education and communication programmes so that nutrition objectives may be achieved through appropriate consumer choice, based on enhanced consumer awareness and knowledge, and encourage the development of social welfare policies that will enable the more vulnerable population groups to exercise informed dietary choice.

(e) Develop or strengthen the technical capacities of, and institutional mechanisms within, each relevant ministry and at intermediate levels of government to identify nutritional problems and their causes and to improve the planning, management and evaluation of programmes and development projects that affect nutrition. Links with appropriate research and training institutions should be strengthened as well.

(f) Establish a flexible national mechanism with strong technical support to promote effective intersectoral cooperation, to keep the nutrition situation in the country under continuous review and to facilitate the development of national nutrition policies and programmes.

(g) Encourage and support the full involvement of communities and the participation of the people in the identification of their own nutritional problems as well as in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes.

(h) Encourage the private sector, including small-scale producers and processors, industry and NGOs to promote nutritional well-being by considering the impact of its activities on nutritional status.

(i) Assess the impact of new development programmes and projects on nutrition to clearly identify the potential benefits for or risks to nutritional well-being, particularly among vulnerable population groups.

(j) Develop and use relevant indicators of nutritional well-being to monitor progress in social and economic development and establish appropriate mechanisms to regularly provide information on the population's nutritional status and factors affecting it, especially that of vulnerable groups, to policy-makers and planners and all interested sectors, both private and public.

(k) Incorporate appropriate and relevant elements of nutrition in school curricula starting from primary school.

(1) With a view to improving nutrition, direct additional investment into agricultural research where necessary to:

· address the problem of seasonality through diversification in food production, including fruits and vegetables, livestock, fishery and aquaculture;

· promote environmentally sound and economically viable farming systems to increase crop production and maintain soil quality, to encourage resource management and resource recycling;

· encourage the development of safe biotechnology in animal and plant breeding and facilitate the exchange of new advances in biotechnology related to nutrition;

· develop techniques that decrease post-harvest crop losses and improve food processing, storage and marketing;

· develop and disseminate technologies that respond to women's needs and ease the workload of women;

· improve extension services to cooperate more effectively with farmer and consumer communities in identifying research needs;

· improve training methods at the international, national and local levels to ensure dissemination of new technologies;

· address the needs of small and poor farmers including those dependent on poor quality or fragile land;

· develop technology and systems applicable to small-scale agriculture;

· encourage intensive food production at the farm and household levels, taking account of prevailing local conditions;

· develop more effective techniques for the traditional production of food at the household and community levels.

28. International, bilateral and regional agencies should assist and strengthen national capabilities to incorporate nutritional considerations into national development in countries where it is appropriate to do so.

2. Improving household food security

29. Food security is defined in its most basic form as access by all people at all times to the food needed for a healthy life. Achieving food security has three dimensions. First, it is necessary to ensure a safe and nutritionally adequate food supply both at the national level and at the household level, Second, it is necessary to have a reasonable degree of stability in the supply of food both from one year to the other and during the year. Third, and most critical, is the need to ensure that each household has physical, social and economic access to enough food to meet its needs. This means that each household must have the knowledge and the ability to produce or procure the food that it needs on a sustainable basis. In this context, properly balanced diets that supply all necessary nutrients and energy without leading to over-consumption or waste should be encouraged, It is also important to encourage the proper distribution of food within the household, among all its members.

30. The right to an adequate standard of living, including food, is recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Food security should be a fundamental objective of development policy as well as a measure of its success. Household food insecurity affects a wide cross-section of the population in both rural and urban areas. The food-insecure socio-economic groups may include: farmers, many of them women, with limited access to natural resources and inputs; landless laborers; rural artisans; temporary workers; homeless people; the elderly; refugees and displaced persons; immigrants; indigenous people; small-scale fishermen and forest dwellers; pastoralists; female-headed households; unemployed or underemployed people; isolated rural communities; and the urban poor, Increasing the productivity and incomes of these diverse groups requires adopting multiple policy instruments and striking a balance between short-term and long-term benefits. The choice of policies must be attuned to the characteristics of a country's food security problem, the nature of the food-insecure population, resource availability and infrastructural and institutional capabilities at all levels of government and communities. Breast-feeding is the most secure means of assuring the food security of infants and should be promoted and protected through appropriate policies and programmes.

31. Bearing the above in mind, in countries where the food-chain is not secure and household food insecurity is a problem, governments, NGOs and non-profit organizations, the private sector and international organizations should, as appropriate, work in a collaborative manner to:

(a) Adopt development strategies to create conditions for economic growth with particular focus on the alleviation of poverty, food security and sustainable agricultural systems.

(b) Strike an optimal balance between macroeconomic policy objectives and food security needs, minimize the possible adverse impact of structural adjustment programmes on the food security of the poor and, where some negative effects are unavoidable, introduce appropriate measures to alleviate these hardships. In the countries concerned, governments and international organizations should promote programmes that will increase food production and, where appropriate, agricultural trade, so that poor countries and poor segments of a population have improved access to food. International lending practices should be re-examined and long-term action must be planned to maintain food supplies at those levels required to meet the needs of growing populations.

(c) Adopt and implement land-use policies where appropriate to enhance food security through the setting aside of adequate areas of agricultural lands and aquatic and other natural resources for the production of food and other sources of nutrition.

(d) Adopt policies and programmes to strengthen local leadership, including balanced gender training; enhance community involvement; promote people's participation; develop rural areas to stem rural-urban migration; and empower women, both as producers and consumers. Women and women's organizations are often very efficient, effective and fundamental in improving household food security.

(e) Adopt special programmes that will enhance productivity with a view to reducing costs and increasing and stabilizing production and incomes of the poor, Such programmes could include improving the access of small-scale producers to inputs, credit and other essential services, as well as to markets through improved infrastructure. The role of agricultural cooperatives and effective extension services in increasing production and producer incomes should be stressed.

(f) Improve access to work opportunities or production factors for urban and rural workers, female heads of households, those employed in the informal sector and unemployed and underemployed people by stimulating the creation of jobs, increasing their skills, providing credit on easy terms and increasing the availability of improved technologies, other inputs and means of production.

(g) Improve access to land and other natural resources by introducing and implementing agrarian reforms and, in particular, through the effective implementation of tenancy reforms and the promotion of efficient utilization of agricultural resources and resettlement in new lands, wherever feasible. Such actions must be taken in full compliance with applicable international laws and agreements.

(h) Increase employment opportunities, particularly in rural areas, by encouraging the private sector to augment such opportunities in agriculture, industry, handicraft and business.

(i) Stabilize food supplies through adequate stockholding in the form of strategic food security reserves as a first line of defence in emergencies; improve post-harvest handling, packaging, storage, preservation, transport and distribution of food to reduce losses at all stages; enhance animal health and production possibilities including fish farming and attention to fisheries resources; ensure a stable supply of fuel for cooking meals; carry out research and introduce measures to improve production, utilization and preservation of indigenous and traditional foods; improve rural food processing technologies; increase marketing facilities at the village, cottage and industrial levels to smooth the food supply flow throughout the year; introduce a variety of cropping strategies, such as crop rotation, mixed cropping, biological inputs and planting of perennial fruit-bearing trees, and develop other agroforestry approaches; ensure an adequate supply of clean and safe water; promote household and community gardens; and ensure the sustainability of food supplies by employing production and marketing systems based on safe and renewable resources that protect the environment and biodiversity.

(j) Improve emergency-preparedness planning through: effective early warning and other information systems; food security reserves; preparation of contingency plans of action to meet emergencies; and enhancing the entitlement of affected people through, for example, public-works programmes; as well as introduce measures to prevent natural disasters, such as irrigation schemes, flood control schemes, etc. In this respect, the international community can play an important role by providing timely and well-targeted food aid and other technical and financial assistance, particularly in the form of food-for-work programmes and for rehabilitation. Coordinated action of relevant organizations of the UN system is of particular importance in this context. Food aid should not interfere with, or be considered as a substitute for, local food production. The special needs of refugees and displaced persons, who include people affected by wars, civil unrest or natural disasters, should be given priority attention in food aid programmes. The provision of food supplies should strive to meet minimal nutritional requirements. NGOs can also provide significant help through effective and appropriate disaster management training at all levels, early warning, food and nutrition surveillance schemes, nutrition education, resource mobilization and action-oriented programme implementation.

(k) Strengthen planning of food-related assistance programmes so that they reach the population in need without disrupting the local economy or local food habits including food production and marketing. Such programmes could include food distribution systems, particularly for the poor and unemployable, and income transfer schemes, such as targeted food subsidies, food stamps and feeding programmes for vulnerable groups with a view to promoting nutritionally adequate diets. In particular, introduce self-targeting food distribution and income transfer schemes for those foods consumed primarily by the poor by locating public food distribution centres in areas where the poor live, taking into account that these populations should be able to select nutritionally adequate diets from the range of foods available.

(I) Strengthen the coping mechanism of the household to meet emergencies by improving its capacity to protect itself from the impact of an emergency through, for example household and community food storage; group savings and credit schemes, diversification of income and employment sources, and improved marketing infrastructures. Action could also include helping the household when the emergency occurs, for example, by supplying seeds for growing short-term crops, by providing food aid, livestock feed and water and, when the emergency is over, by introducing rehabilitation measures to help the household recover from adverse effects of the emergency.

(m) Adopt or strengthen a public sector policy supporting labor-intensive public works programmes and programmes to reduce geographical isolation, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where priority actions are needed to quickly alleviate acute nutritional problems. Labor-intensive infrastructure programmes are one of several valuable instruments that may be used to improve employment, income and access to food. They transfer and stabilize benefits, thus decreasing the risk of consumption shortfalls among the poor, and can strengthen needed infrastructure, such as roads, to facilitate better trade and movement of foods from rural to urban centres, promote resource conservation or irrigation and land development or combat such problems as desertification.

(n) Encourage necessary research by governmental, international and private institutions to promote household food security through better food production, handling and storage and prevention of food losses, crop and genetic diversity, and improved food processing, preservation and marketing Research should be done on household handling of food and interfamily food distribution to assure adequate food availability and to protect the nutritional value of food and prevent food losses and wastage Such research can enhance rural employment and promote the role of women, in particular, in all aspects of food production, processing and marketing. Research should also be carried out on appropriate cost-effective indicators to measure household food security problems and to measure progress of appropriate programmes in solving those problems.

(o) Promote better general and nutritional education to eliminate illiteracy and improve knowledge in the selection of a safe and adequate diet and of food production, processing, storage and handling techniques at all levels, especially the household level. Programmes should be directed at household leaders, with particular focus on women, and should also include home economics education for both boys and girls. The awareness of men and women of the benefits of limiting household size and the advantages of family planning practices should be increased. The role of mass media in delivering positive nutrition improvement messages and eliminating harmful food taboos should be emphasized. It is important to develop and carry out public information campaigns to improve the quality of nutrition through better use of available food supplies by the households and to promote recognition of the fact that each member of a household should be able to share fairly in available food resources irrespective of sex, age or any other individual characteristic.

(p) International financial and specialized agencies should give high priority to assisting countries with their programmes for strengthening household food security. The nature of such support may be increased investment in production enhancement projects such as irrigation, soil fertility improvement and soil and water conservation, intensification of agriculture or assisting countries undertaking structural adjustment. Assistance should also include technology transfer adapted to the local conditions in developing countries to improve food production and processing while protecting intellectual property rights as appropriate; the training of personnel at all levels, and the establishment of a suitable economic environment to improve the competitiveness of developing countries.

3. Protecting consumers through improved food quality and safety

32. A safe food and water supply of adequate quality is essential for proper nutrition. The food supply must have an appropriate nutrient content and it must be available in sufficient variety and quantity. It must not endanger consumer health through chemical, biological and other contaminants and it must be presented honestly. Food safety and quality control ensures that the desirable characteristics of food are retained throughout the production, handling, processing, packaging, distribution and preparation stages. This promotes healthy diets, reduces food losses and encourages domestic and international food trade. Food quality encompasses the basic composition of foods and aspects concerning food safety. Consumers have the right to a good quality and safe food supply, and government and food industry actions are needed to ensure this. Effective food quality and safety control programmes are essential and may comprise a variety of measures, such as laws, regulations and standards, together with systems for effective inspection and compliance monitoring including laboratory analysis. Where appropriate, governments, in close collaboration with other interested parties, should:

(a) Adopt and strengthen comprehensive measures to cover the control of food quality and safety with a view to protecting the health of consumers and producers and ensuring sound production, good manufacturing and fair trade practices. Where measures exist they should be regularly reviewed and updated, as appropriate, for better producer and consumer protection.

(b) Establish measures to protect the consumer from unsafe, low quality, adulterated, misbranded or contaminated foods. Measures should include provisions for minimum acceptable levels of food quality and safety, for differences in the ways in which food is produced, processed, packaged, labeled and stored, as well as for the conditions under which it is presented and purveyed. Food regulations should also cover the fortification of foods with micronutrients and should fully take into account the recommended international standards of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Food labels should be clear and easy to understand and attention should be given to harmonizing labeling requirements; better information on nutrient analysis and food composition is needed for this task. Measures to assist individuals with food intolerance’s should be considered. Claims in food labelling or advertising should be carefully controlled and false or misleading claims should be prohibited. FAO and WHO should encourage greater involvement of developing countries in Codex activities and review avenues to facilitate such participation and they should find appropriate means of making contact with concerned food control institutions and provide them with information and technical knowledge in this field.

(c) Give high priority to establishing food safety and quality control infrastructures, including food inspection, sampling and laboratory facilities to enforce the law and regulations, to ensure that food products comply with applicable requirements for domestic consumption or export.

(d) Give consumer and producer organizations rights of consultation with advisory and decision-making bodies and facilitate open and transparent access to information and participation in the establishment of food safety, quality control and labeling standards. Also, establish or strengthen mechanisms to resolve consumer problems with the food supply Cooperation should be fostered among the food sector, government and consumers.

(e) Establish effective working relationships with the food industry, including producers, processors and purveyors of food, in order to ensure that food industry quality control systems are adequate to secure compliance with requirements of the law and regulations. Primary responsibility for production, manufacturing and distribution of the food supply rests with the farming, agricultural processing and retailing sectors. Thus the food industry should provide safe, wholesome, nutritious and palatable foods so that the health of consumers is protected.

(f) Support international and multilateral efforts to extend and enhance food standards and food-labeling programmes. Developing countries should be provided with international technical assistance to improve their food safety and quality programmes for domestic markets and international trade.

(g) Develop the human resources required for designing, implementing and monitoring food and water quality control systems. Education and training in the safe handling of agrochemicals are essential for farmers and for food handlers, both commercial and domestic.

(h) Implement, through national legislation, regulation and other appropriate measures, existing international agreements on the marketing and distribution of agrochemicals, such as the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides.

(i) Promote the development of sustainable and ecologically sound agricultural practices and integrated pest management and strengthen research and extension programmes that help facilitate their adoption. Techniques that help reduce the use of agricultural chemicals should be encouraged.

(j) Support consumer education to contribute to an educated and knowledgeable public, safe practices in the home, community participation and active consumer associations. FAO and WHO should provide member countries with material on food quality and safety for use in consumer education programmes.

(k) Promote research on food quality and safety, including weaning products and street foods, taking into account the socio-economic conditions of production, handling and storage technologies.

(i) Develop surveillance and monitoring programmes for food-borne diseases and contaminants.

(m) Ensure that foods for emergency feeding programmes for refugees and displaced persons are of good quality and safe for consumption. Mechanisms should be established to monitor specific problems such as pest infestation, contaminants and product age and to promote the exchange of relevant information.

4. Preventing and managing infectious diseases

33. The interaction of infection and malnutrition has an overwhelming impact on health status, particularly in lower socio-economic groups. It is a major cause of death, sickness and disability in infants and young children and an important contributor to women's ill health and reproductive problems. Preventing, controlling and correctly managing infections improves nutritional well-being and markedly enhances the productivity of the adult population. Governments, in cooperation with all concerned parties, should:

(a) Adopt or strengthen, as appropriate, measures to ensure that safe food and safe water supplies are readily available in sufficient quantities to provide adequate environmental sanitation for all and to improve waste disposal systems.

(b) Prevent food-borne and water-borne diseases and other infections in infants and young children by encouraging and enabling women to breast-feed exclusively during the first four to six months of their children's lives.

(c) Promote sound weaning practices by encouraging the use of nutritionally adequate, safe and appropriate locally available foods.

(d) Provide or strengthen, as appropriate, specialist education for health workers and general education and specific nutrition and health information for communities, parents and individuals, enabling them to provide safe and adequate diets and effectively prevent and manage infections. This would include providing training and information on food, sanitation and primary health care, particularly the management of diarrhoea, and on dietary needs throughout the life cycle, including periods of illness, for relevant health, agriculture and other extension workers at all levels ce prevent, control, eliminate and/or eradicate infectious, parasitic and other communicable diseases, including those spread by animal vectors, by improving the environment and ensuring adequate primary health care services, including immunization programmes, diarrhoeal disease control, control of acute respiratory infections and extending AIDS prevention and control programmes to all populations.

(f) Encourage intersectoral collaboration between agriculture, health and other relevant sectors to prevent and control infectious diseases, especially zoonoses. Close collaboration with NGOs and the private sector should be ensured.

(g) Ensure and support nutrition management, where shown to be effective, in the prevention and reduction in severity of infectious diseases.

(h) Promote research on nutrition-related aspects of transmission and management of infectious diseases, taking into account all socio-economic aspects, and ensure the application of relevant findings.

5. Promoting breast-feeding

34. Breast-feeding provides infants and young children with the ideal nutrition. Together with its many beneficial effects, such as those on child spacing and the prevention of disease, it is the most inexpensive form of infant feeding. All women should be enabled to breast-feed their babies exclusively for the first four to six months, and, while giving appropriate supplementary food, to continue breast-feeding for up to two years or more. In order to do so, the international community needs to create awareness and provide maximum support to women to breast-feed, and governments and concerned parties of the private sector should:

(a) Support and encourage mothers to breast-feed and adequately care for their children, whether formally or informally employed or doing unpaid work. ILO conventions and regulations covering this subject may be used as a starting-point for the. States that agree with these conventions and regulations.

(b) Make all efforts to have maternity facilities take part in the "Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative" of WHO and UNICEF, incorporating the good practices described in the joint WHO/UNICEF statement on protection, promotion and support of breast-feeding through improved maternity services. These sound practices should also be used as a guideline as adapted to home deliveries.

(c) Encourage and support collaboration between health care systems and mother-support networks, including the family and the community, if necessary by promoting the establishment of mother-support groups.

(d) Take actions to give effect to the principles and aim of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes, as adopted by the 1981 World Health Assembly and reconfirmed by subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions.

(e) Ensure that health and other care providers receive high quality training in breast-feeding issues, using updated training material, and that they are informed about relevant national marketing regulations or policies.

(f) Ensure as far as possible that information disseminated on the feeding of infants and young children is consistent and in line with current scientific knowledge and take steps to counteract misinformation on infant feeding.

(g) Consider with utmost care issues regarding breast-feeding and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection on the basis of the most up-to-date, authoritative scientific advice and referring to the latest WHO/UNICEF guidelines, and request that WHO, in close cooperation with UNICEF, breast-feeding and other experts, convene technical meetings on a regular basis to review the latest scientific publications on these issues and update the guidelines.

6. Caring for the socio-economically deprived and nutritionally vulnerable

35. Care refers to the provision in the household and community of time, attention, support and skills to meet the physical, mental and social needs of socio-economically deprived and nutritionally vulnerable groups. Among these groups the growing child is the most vulnerable, but others include women, the elderly and the mentally, physically and sensory disabled. Among the socio-economically deprived are refugees, displaced persons, some indigenous peoples, those in isolated communities, the landless, the unemployed, recent immigrants, orphans and children in difficult circumstances. Individuals most at risk of malnutrition are those who are both physiologically vulnerable and socio-economically deprived, Countries should recognize that the skills and abilities of the care giver, who is usually the mother, are crucial to the quality of care, particularly the selection and preparation of food for the family, including the mother herself, the children and other dependents.

36. In general, the provision of care is primarily a responsibility of the family. However, society also has an obligation to assist those who cannot care for themselves. The role of government should be to provide a supportive environment for family- and community-based care and to provide direct services when additional care is needed. Care within the family includes support during and after pregnancy, breast-feeding, providing security, reducing child stress, providing shelter and clothing, feeding and bathing, preventing and treating illness and showing affection and respect. Care facilities outside the family include curative and preventive health clinics, prenatal and maternal care centres, traditional healers or members of extended family networks, community and government social and economic support systems and programmes for income generation. Caring should recognize the dignity and rights of vulnerable people. Actions to improve the care of the socio-economically deprived and nutritionally vulnerable will be most successful if they are sensitive to the particular needs and traditions of a local community and respond to these. Governments are encouraged to work in a collaborative manner with local community groups, the private sector and NGOs, Governments, in cooperation with other concerned parties, should:

(a) Ensure that all infants and young children, particularly children in difficult circumstances, have access to adequate, well-balanced and safe diets, health care and education to enable them to attain and maintain their full physical and mental growth potential and proper nutritional status. Particular attention should be given to care for the female child.

(b) Promote sound weaning practices, including timely introduction of supplementary foods, adequate quantity and quality of weaning foods and improved feeding practices, such as more frequent and supervised feedings.

(c) Enhance the legal and social status of women from birth onwards, assuring them of respect and equal access to caring, education, training, land, credit, equity in wages and remuneration and other services, including family planning services, and empower them economically so that they have better control over the family resources.

(d) Promote support of care givers to preserve their physical and mental health and enhance their skills and knowledge to improve nutrition. Decrease women's workload by supporting research and extension services on time- and energy-saving devices, where applicable.

(e) Adapt nutrition, health and education support services to adolescent girls and boys to prepare them to fulfil their future roles as well-nourished, productive adults and parents.

(f) Prepare and motivate adult males to fully participate in and take responsibility for the nutritional well-being and support of their families, as well as to be sensitive to women's needs in protecting and promoting family well-being.

(g) Foster recognition of the contribution that the elderly make to the household and community activities. Promote caring of the elderly through traditional forms of family support and through the introduction of special measures where needed.

(h) Provide care for disabled individuals to enable them to reach their potential and become self-supporting, ensuring their opportunities in education, employment and housing.

(i) Enhance the nutritional status of the indigenous people through the development and implementation of culturally acceptable strategies that involve the community.

(j) Encourage and foster community awareness, organization and leadership to promote and ensure its own nutritional development including adequate care of its vulnerable households and individuals, such as female-headed households.

(k) Enhance food and nutrition programmes directed at urban poor and especially street children.


37. Among refugees and displaced populations, high rates of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies associated with high rates of mortality continue to occur. The magnitude of the problem has grown over the last decade. Increased political commitment to and accountability for the protection and promotion of the nutritional well-being of refugees, displaced populations, those under occupation, prisoners of war and other affected groups are urgently required in accordance with international humanitarian law. Governments, in collaboration with the international community, should:
(a) Provide sustainable assistance to refugees and displaced persons and work to monitor and ensure their nutritional well-being, giving high priority to the control of diseases and to the prevention of malnutrition and outbreaks of micronutrient deficiency diseases. Wherever feasible such assistance should encourage their ability to support themselves rather than increase their dependence on external assistance. The food provided should be nutritionally adequate and safe.

(b) Identify, within civilian populations situated in zones of conflict, refugee and displaced populations and groups needing special care including the disabled, the elderly, children, mothers and other nutritionally vulnerable groups in order to plan to provide for their special needs.

(c) Promote the basic human rights of refugees and displaced persons.

(d) Ensure a rapid, coordinated and appropriate response by improving communications with the international community, including concerned entities of the United Nations as well as NGOs.

(e) Work to ensure the safe and timely passage of the totality of food and medical supplies to those in need in conflict zones, and the creating and using of "humanitarian corridors of tranquillity" where available.

(f) Ensure assistance to refugees returning to their home countries until they are reintegrated into society.

(g) Make efforts to develop policies that ensure stability so as to avoid the massive migration of refugees and displaced persons, which causes additional pressure on any community.


7. Preventing and controlling specific micronutrient deficiencies

38. Micronutrient deficiencies are a matter of major public health concern. They are widespread, although the prevalence of a particular deficiency can vary considerably within and between countries Deficiencies of vitamin A (including beta-carotene), iodine and iron are especially important because of their serious health consequences, wide geographic distribution and the existing global commitment to their control.

39. Vitamin A deficiency and its consequences, including blindness, poor growth, increased severity of infections and death, are fully preventable, making its control one of the most effective child health and survival strategies that governments can undertake The protection, promotion and support of breast-feeding is an effective way of preventing vitamin A deficiency in infants and young children.

40. Over one-fifth of the world's population lives in iodine-deficient areas, Iodine deficiency is the most common preventable cause of mental retardation. Additional consequences of iodine deficiency are reproductive failure, goitre, increased mortality and economic stagnation. Children, adolescent girls and women are particularly vulnerable. The means for its correction are readily available and provide an exciting opportunity for its elimination by the year 2000.

41. Iron deficiency and/or anemia is the most common micronutrient deficiency, especially affecting young children and women of reproductive age. Uncorrected anemia can lead to learning disabilities, an increased risk of infection and diminished work capacity and to death of women during pregnancy and at childbirth. Thus, iron deficiency has an impact on all segments of society.

42. Deficiencies of other micronutrients such as folate and other B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, selenium, zinc and calcium also significantly affect health and may merit increased attention by governments in countries where deficiencies exist.

43. Recognizing the international, regional and national resources, coordination and support required, governments, in collaboration with international agencies, NGOs, the private sector/industry, other expert groups and the community, should adopt an appropriate combination of the following strategies:

(a) Assess the extent and epidemiology of micronutrient deficiencies and develop a national policy for prevention based on their distribution and cause, the severity of deficiency and available resources.

(b) Accelerate efforts to achieve the elimination of vitamin A and iodine deficiencies and a reduction in iron deficiency in accordance with the year 2000 goals of the World Summit for Children and the Montreal Conference on Micronutrient Malnutrition.

(c) Formulate and implement programmes to correct micronutrient deficiencies and prevent their occurrence, promoting the dissemination of nutrition information and giving priority to breast-feeding and other sustainable food-based approaches that encourage dietary diversification through the production and consumption of micronutrient-rich foods, including appropriate traditional foods. Processing and preservation techniques allowing the conservation of micronutrients should be promoted at the community and other levels, particularly when micronutrient-rich foods are available only on a seasonal basis.

(d) Implement the most appropriate combination of the following measures: improved food availability, food preservation, food and nutrition education and training, dietary diversification, food fortification, supplementation and pertinent public-health measures such as primary health care, promotion of breast-feeding and safe drinking-water. International and regional cooperation in the sharing of resources to enable economies of scale should be encouraged.

(e) Ensure that sustainable food-based strategies are given first priority particularly for populations deficient in vitamin A and iron, favoring locally available foods and taking into account local food habits, Supplementation of intakes with vitamin A, iodine and iron may be required on a short-term basis to reinforce dietary approaches in severely deficient populations, utilizing primary health care services when possible. Supplementation should be directed at the appropriate vulnerable groups, especially women of reproductive age (iodine and iron), infants and young children, the elderly, refugees and displaced persons. Supplementation should be progressively phased out as soon as micronutrient-rich food-based strategies enable adequate consumption of micronutrients.

(f) Ensure and legislate for the fortification of foods or water with necessary micronutrients, where feasible, when existing food supplies fail to provide adequate levels in the diet. Fortification should be regularly evaluated for various reasons. Where iodine deficiency is a significant public health problem, the iodization of all salt for both human and livestock consumption is required, recognizing that this is the most effective long-range measure for correcting iodine deficiency.

(g) Ensure that nutrition education and training programmes are implemented at the community, school and national levels to provide information on proper food preparation, nutritional value and bio-availability and other factors that affect micronutrient status, especially of the young, and to promote the consumption of foods that are rich in micronutrients.

(h) Strengthen micronutrient surveillance capabilities and activities by devising indicators to monitor the above strategies for achieving national goals related to coverage, compliance and effectiveness in targeted populations.

(i) Support research on the role of micronutrients in health and disease, on the development of inventories and food composition tables of existing and potentially significant food sources of micronutrients, including inter alia green and yellow vegetables and fruits, palm oil, fish and other locally available food sources of micronutrients, on weaning foods, on factors affecting the bio-availability of nutrients in food, on indigenous methods of food processing and preparation affecting micronutrient availability, on nutrition education; and on the improvement of existing techniques for the assessment and correction of micronutrient deficiencies.

(j) Develop sustainable institutional capacities and human resources, including training of professionals, non-professionals and community leaders, in order to achieve the goals of micronutrient deficiency control and prevention.

(k) Consider, as appropriate, coordinating micronutrient deficiency control activities under the direction of a national committee, with the appropriate political support, authority, legislation and infrastructure that reflects national commitment.

(1) Encourage FAO, WHO and all other concerned international agencies and NGOs to provide assistance in combating all aspects of micronutrient deficiency problems, through monitoring and surveillance, research and production and consumption of micronutrient-rich foods.

(m) Recognize that refugees and displaced persons, as well as being susceptible to iodine, vitamin A and iron deficiencies, are also susceptible to other deficiencies, particularly vitamin B1 deficiency (beriberi), niacin deficiency (pellagra) and vitamin C deficiency (scurvy) Donor countries and involved organizations must therefore ensure that the nutrient content of food used for emergency food aid meets nutritional requirements, if necessary through fortification or ultimately through supplementation. To the extent possible, such foods should be culturally appropriate.


8. Promoting appropriate diets and healthy lifestyles

44. Non-communicable diseases related to unhealthy lifestyles and inappropriate diets are becoming increasingly prevalent in many countries. With greater affluence and urbanization, diets tend to become richer on average in energy and fat, especially saturated fat, have less fibre and complex carbohydrates and more alcohol, refined carbohydrates and salt. In urban settings exercise and energy expenditure frequently decrease, while levels of smoking and stress tend to increase. These and other risk factors, as well as increased life expectancy, are associated with the increased prevalence of obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis and some cancers, with immense social and health care costs. Dental caries is also an important diet-related condition in some regions.

45 While generally positive, urbanization, particularly in developing countries, can lead to severe economic and social stresses among poor populations. Often, too rapid urban growth results in heavy demands on urban facilities, resulting in large numbers of poor people living in crowded slums with limited access to clean water, sanitation facilities, health care and. food Excessive urbanization, particularly rural-urban migration, may also contribute to the fragmentation of society and the breakdown of traditional values and care and feeding practices. Dietary and lifestyle changes following migration to more affluent areas can affect health status in positive and negative ways, often exposing immigrants, particularly minorities, to an increased risk of diet-related non-communicable diseases. Both primary and secondary prevention of these diseases are important Governments, together with other groups, should:

(a) Assess the dietary intake and nutritional status of the population (see section 9 below).

(b) Assess the strength of evidence of links between diet and disease in the context of their own situation, taking into account international and other national assessments and current scientific findings. Consider which dietary targets are appropriate in the context of the prevalence of deficiency and diet-related chronic diseases.

(c) Develop comprehensive policies for improved food supplies and nutrition, adapted to local conditions in each country, and support and encourage home gardens, traditional food production and consumption patterns that support nutritional well-being.

(d) On the basis of energy and nutrient recommendations, provide advice to the public by disseminating, through the use of mass media and other appropriate means, qualitative and/or quantitative dietary guidelines relevant for different age groups and lifestyles and appropriate for the country's population.

(e) Implement and support the design of appropriate community-based nutrition education programmes in conjunction with appropriate communication strategies, such as nutrition labelling, that enable individuals and families to choose a healthy diet, and give high priority to ensuring that these programmes reach target groups.

(f) Encourage the adaptation of nutrition and consumer information and intervention programmes to differences in socio-economic conditions, language barriers and cultural beliefs and attitudes regarding foods, health and disease.

(g) Promote from an early age a knowledge of food and nutrition, food safety, food preparation, healthy diets and lifestyles through the curricula of schoolchildren, teachers, health professionals, and the training of personnel involved in agricultural extension.

(h) Encourage institutionalized food services and the catering sector to provide and promote healthy diets.

(i) Take appropriate actions to discourage smoking, drug and alcohol abuse.

(j) Sponsor and promote exercise programmes to all, targeting children and high-risk groups, and provide recreation and sporting facilities with the participation of community, public and private organizations.

(k) Promote employment and better living conditions in rural areas to prevent excessive migration to cities.

(l) Support special nutrition and consumer education, nutrition interventions and follow-up activities for those groups of immigrants that may need special attention.


9. Assessing, analysing and monitoring nutrition situations

46. Information on the nature, extent, magnitude and severity of different types of nutritional problems, as well as their causes, resources and how they are changing over time, is essential for the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of effective policies and programmes to improve nutrition. Information is also needed to provide early warning of impending nutritional emergencies and for ongoing programme management. The basic aim should be to provide relevant and accurate information that can be utilized efficiently. Therefore, information must be timely, relevant to the decision-makers and communicated effectively at the appropriate levels. These levels range from the individual and household level, through the community and national levels, to the international level. Open access to information regarding the nutritional situation must be ensured for all interested parties. Utilization of information may be facilitated by the establishment or strengthening of specific bodies or mechanisms. Data collection and analysis have costs that must be balanced against the overall resources available for the programme. Governments, in close cooperation with all parties concerned, should:

(a) Identify the priority nutritional problems in the country, analyse their causes, plan and implement appropriate remedial actions and monitor and evaluate efforts to improve the situation. This would include selecting appropriate indicators and methods for assessing and monitoring problems of food security and undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and overnutrition.

(b) Establish or strengthen data collection, analysis and reporting systems within appropriate institutional frameworks in a sustainable fashion in order to meet the relevant priority information needs of planners, policy-makers, programme managers and communities as they address nutritional problems.

(c) Provide basic and ongoing training of personnel in relevant ministries and institutions for data collection, analysis, presentation and utilization.

(d) Make maximum use of existing data sources and information systems to avoid duplication of efforts and to encourage a coordinated multisectoral approach for taking action. Relevant sources of data could be in particular the ministries responsible for agriculture, health, education, commerce and trade, finance and planning, scientific research and social welfare, as well as universities, the private sector and NGOs. Data could include information on mortality, morbidity, anthropometry, food availability, food intake, food prices, breast-feeding, food quality and safety, along with information on knowledge, attitudes and practices, family size and income, rainfall and landholding.

(e) Encourage the development and use of innovative approaches such as risk mapping, sentinel sites and rapid appraisal techniques for information gathering and utilization. Establish a system for the exchange of information between developing countries (South-South) and also between developed and developing countries for training and research.

(f) Promote community-based information systems to support local problem identification analysis and action.

(g) Develop and strengthen growth monitoring and promotion and nutrition surveillance within primary health care systems.

(h) Promote the strengthening of research and training of personnel in nutrition, especially for food sciences, nutrition, biology, food toxicology, epidemiology, human and social sciences and related interventions.

(i) Cooperate with other governments, research institutions, NGOs and international organizations to promote and support regional and international collaboration in gathering food and nutrition information and in surveillance and early warning activities. This should also include the building of capacities within countries and promoting the establishment of focal points for training and research at national and regional levels.

(j) Support and encourage, where appropriate, the development and use of local food composition information.

V. Responsibility for action

47. The goals of the World Declaration on Nutrition as well as the recommendations of the Plan of Action for Nutrition need to be translated into priority actions in accordance with the realities found in each country and must be supported by action at the international level Taking these into account, governments should prepare national plans of action, coordinated as appropriate with follow-up activities related to the World Summit for Children, establishing priorities, setting up time frames and, where appropriate, identifying the resources needed and those already available. The strategies for achieving the objectives may vary from country to country, and the responsibilities rest with a variety of agents, from government institutions to individuals.

1. At the national level

(a) All governments should establish appropriate national mechanisms to prioritize, develop, implement and monitor policies and plans to improve nutrition within designated time frames, based both on national and local needs, and provide appropriate funds for their functioning.

(b) Within the context of the national plans of action, governments should formulate, adopt and implement programmes and strategies to achieve the recommendations of the Plan of Action for Nutrition, taking into account their specific problems and priorities In particular, in countries where it is appropriate to do so, ministries of agriculture, fisheries, food, health, social welfare, education and planning, as well as other concerned ministries, should formulate concrete proposals for their sectors to promote nutritional well-being.

(c) Governments at the local and provincial levels, as well as NGOs and the private sector, should be encouraged to participate in the process.

(d) All sectors of society should be encouraged to play an active role and to assume their responsibilities in implementing related components of the national plan of action, with appropriate mechanisms for coordination. Households, communities, NGOs, private institutions - including industry, small-scale producers, women farmers and trade and services, as well as social and cultural associations - and the mass media should be mobilized to help individuals and population groups achieve nutritional well-being in close association with government and technical service sectors.

(e) Programmes aimed at improving the nutritional well-being of the people, in particular that of the groups at greatest risk, should be supported by the allocation of adequate resources by the public and the private sectors so as to ensure their sustainability.

(f) Governments, academic institutions and industry should support the development of fundamental and applied research directed towards improving the scientific and technological knowledge base against which food, nutrition and health problems can be analysed and solved, giving priority to research concerning disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.

(g) In most countries, high priority should be given to the development of human resources and training of personnel needed in all sectors to support nutrition-related activities.

(h) National governments, in cooperation with local authorities, NGOs and the private sector, should prepare periodic reports on the implementation of national plans of action, with clear indications of how vulnerable groups are faring.


2. At the international level
(a) International agencies - multilateral, bilateral and non-governmental - are urged to define, in the course of 1993, steps through which they can contribute to the achievement of those goals and strategies set out in the World Declaration and Plan of Action for Nutrition, including the promotion of new partnerships of economic and technical cooperation among countries.

(b) The governing bodies of FAO, WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank, UNDP, Unesco, ILO, WFP, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNU, IFAD and other concerned international organizations should, in the course of 1993, decide on ways and means of giving appropriate priority to their nutrition-related programmes and activities aimed at ensuring, as soon as possible, the vigorous and coordinated implementation of activities recommended in the World Declaration and Plan of Action for Nutrition. This would include, as appropriate, increased assistance to the member countries. FAO and WHO, in particular, should strengthen within available resources their programmes for nutritional improvement, taking into account the recommendations put forth in this Plan of Action.

(c) Regional offices of UN organizations and regional intergovernmental organizations are requested to collaborate on and to facilitate the implementation and monitoring of the Plan of Action for Nutrition by supporting horizontal and interregional cooperation, especially among developing countries. In particular, this would involve collaboration based on the aims and principles of the Plan of Action for Nutrition for the formulation of overall regional strategies for improved nutrition and, when requested, for assisting governments in formulating national plans of action.

(d) Regional institutions for research and training, with appropriate support from the international community, should establish or reinforce collaborative networks in order to foster the human resource development needed - particularly at the national level - to implement the Plan of Action for Nutrition, to promote intercountry collaboration and to exchange information on the food and nutrition situation, technologies, research results, the implementation of nutrition programmes and resource flows.

(e) As leading specialized agencies of the UN system in the fields of food, nutrition and health, FAO and WHO are requested to prepare jointly, in close collaboration with UNICEF and other UN entities, a consolidated report on their implementation of the World Declaration and Plan of Action for Nutrition and also on its implementation by their member countries and other international organizations for review by their governing bodies by 1995. The governing bodies can then make decisions on the timing of future reports.

(f) UN agencies have a special responsibility for follow-up. All concerned agencies and organs of the UN system are urged to strengthen their collaborative and cooperative mechanisms in order to fully participate at international, regional, national and local levels in the achievement of the objectives of the Plan of Action for Nutrition. The ACC/SCN should facilitate coordination of these efforts and, in close collaboration with its participating agencies, prepare periodic reports on their activities in implementing the World Declaration and Plan of Action for Nutrition for consideration by the ACC for submission, through ECOSOC, to the UN General Assembly.

VI. Recommendations for the follow-up of the conference

48. Governments are urged to promote continued work by relevant ministries and the strengthening or establishment of the ICN focal points where appropriate, and, with other concerned parties, to improve nutritional status, including the following:

(a) To prepare or improve, as early as possible and not later than the end of 1994, national plans of action and policies based on the principles and strategies enunciated in this World Declaration and Plan of Action. These need to be based on an analysis of the country situation and developed with the active participation of all relevant ministries, local governments and communities, non-governmental and research organizations and the private sector.

(b) To allocate and mobilize the financial and human resources necessary for implementation.

(c) To prepare, where appropriate, specific proposals for research priorities and capacity building, establishing links between government, non-governmental sectors, appropriate organizations and academic institutions.

(d) To develop coordinated intersectoral mechanisms for implementing, monitoring and evaluating the agreed national plan of action.

(e) To disseminate to the public, which may include parliamentary bodies, information on the principles and objectives of the World Declaration and Plan of Action for Nutrition as well as on the progress made and targets reached.

(f) To strengthen collaboration with NGOs, community agencies, local private sector representatives and citizens on the design and implementation of the country action plan.


49. The international community, including bilateral, international and multilateral agencies, and institutions providing capital and/or technical assistance are urged as soon as possible and to the extent their mandates and resources allow to allocate assured and increased funds to recipient countries, institutions and NGOs, as appropriate, for the preparation and implementation of national plans of action.

50. The governing bodies of FAO and WHO and other relevant international organizations are requested to give specific consideration during 1993 to determining ways and means of strengthening their capabilities towards implementing this World Declaration and Plan of Action FAO and WHO are requested to consider the inclusion of periodic reports on the overall follow-up of the ICN on the agenda of the regular FAO regional conferences and WHO regional committee meetings.

51. UN organizations and other concerned parties are requested to prepare and disseminate information for the public on the World Declaration and Plan of Action.

52. In conclusion, the ICN should be viewed as a milestone in the continuing process to eliminate hunger and malnutrition, especially in the developing countries, and at the same time to prevent an increase in the incidence of diet-related communicable and non-communicable diseases. The ICN preparatory process began at the national and regional levels and, to be effective, its follow-up must now be firmly anchored in national and regional commitment and efforts to protect and promote the nutritional well-being of all.

(introduction...)

C. Gopalan

Dr. Gopalan served as a member of the Advisory Group of Experts for the International Conference on Nutrition and is the President of the Nutrition Foundation of India, B-37, Gulmohar Park, New Delhi 100 049.

The International Conference on Nutrition (ICN) included official delegations of 159 countries as well as a considerable number of scientists and representatives of non-governmental organizations. Thus, the ICN was a truly representative meeting.

During the two years of preparation for the conference, eight regional meetings and two meetings of a specially designated advisory group of experts were held in order to finalize the agenda. A preparatory meeting in Geneva held three months before the main conference in Rome considered a draft World Declaration and Plan of Action for Nutrition which was debated in depth at the ICN in December. After such detailed discussions, the decisions finally reached in Rome reflect the considered collective views of the participants.

The significance of the ICN

In recent years there have been major world conferences on food; on health (the Alma Ata Conference on Primary Health Care); on population; and on the environment. The ICN was, however, the first world conference on nutrition ever to be held. For this and other reasons, it is of special significance.

Considering that malnutrition is an age-old problem of humanity, it is strange that an initiative for organizing a global conference that could address the central issues contributing to present widespread malnutrition and consider strategies for the betterment of the nutritional status of the world's peoples had been so long delayed. The decision to hold the ICN, at long last, reflects the recognition (albeit belated) that ensuring optimal nutrition for the peoples of the world is a major and central objective of development.

It was appropriate that the ICN was jointly organized by two leading agencies of the UN system - FAO and WHO the former mainly concerned with problems related to food and the latter with problems related to health. Optimal health cannot be achieved in the absence of adequate nutrition. In the ultimate analysis, adequate nutrition can only be achieved through ensuring adequacy of food supplies at the household level. This joint effort by FAO and WHO symbolizes the imperative need for cooperation between the food and health sectors in the matter of implementation of meaningful nutrition policies at the national and international levels.

In their deliberations, the ICN participants recognized, in fact, the need for even broader intersectoral coordination. Thus, the conference drew attention to the role of poverty and lack of education as major factors underlying undernutrition in many parts of the world and emphasized that besides adequate food, important requirements for nutritional improvement include safe water, sanitation and education.

The joint organization of the ION by FAO and WHO is welcomed for another practical and historic reason. Some of the most valuable information on basic aspects of nutrition and nutrient requirements as well as much useful, practical guidance for nutrition improvement programmes had emerged from the joint expert committee meetings organized by FAO and WHO in the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. These meetings not only enriched nutritional science but were also of practical use to nutrition workers in the field. It is hoped that the successful organization of the ICN could help not only in reaffirming the legitimate international leadership role of these two front-line organizations of the UN system in the field of nutrition, but also in reviving the culture of their joint action and collaboration in the area of nutrition, which had proved so rewarding in the past.

The ICN was noteworthy in yet another important respect. Despite the fact that the participants at the conference represented a wide range of countries at varying points in the developmental spectrum, frank discussions at the meeting resulted in the emergence of a broad consensus on several issues (including somewhat sensitive ones) related to nutrition. The larger humane goal of ensuring nutritional uplifting for people as a whole apparently gained precedence over narrow national and sectarian interests. "Inconvenient" issues which are generally diplomatically sidestepped or soft-pedalled at intergovernmental meetings were boldly articulated and debated (sometimes hotly); moreover, the conclusions of such debates were ultimately set out in the World Declaration and the Plan of Action in forms that found general acceptance.

The World Declaration and the Plan of Action unanimously adopted at the end of the conference cover a rather wide ground. It is not the purpose of this communication to discuss individual points contained in these documents in detail, The attempt here is to highlight some salient features.

World declaration on nutrition

Nutrition and development

Perhaps, from the point of view of the planner and policy-maker, a statement in the World Declaration that may be considered highly significant is the following, contained in item 11.

We recognize that the nutritional well-being of all people is a pre-condition for the development of societies and that it should be a key objective of progress in human development. It must be at the centre of our socio-economic development plans and strategies.

In most developing countries, plagued with resource constraints, programmes for nutrition improvement have generally been looked upon as welfare relief operations, rather than as aspects of the fulfillment of an essential precondition for social and economic development. Nutrition programmes did not enjoy high priority or adequate resource allocation in the development agenda. Nutrition improvement was, at best, perceived as a derived rather than a direct objective of the development process. As a result, there were no strong attempts either to ensure nutritional orientation of national food policies or to lay adequate focus on nutrition in primary health care. Experience belies the facile assumption that improved nutrition will automatically result as a spin-off effect of improved food production or of extended child-survival promotion operations.

In recent years, however, there has been increasing recognition of the importance of the nutrition factor in development, and several large-scale nutrition intervention programmes have been attempted; but these have not necessarily been part of a coherent, well-conceived national nutrition policy.

Socio-economic inequities, the root of the global nutrition problem

From the global point of view, the statements in the World Declaration that draw pointed attention to the inequities and incongruities in the present-day world that lie at the root of the malnutrition problem are highly significant. It is these statements that elevate the declaration from a narrow political plane to the larger humanistic one.

The World Declaration states in its opening paragraph:

Hunger and malnutrition are unacceptable in a world that has both the knowledge and the resources to end this human catastrophe... We recognize that globally there is enough food for all and that inequitable access is the main problem.

Today, we are witness to the cruel paradox of global food surpluses reaching record levels on the one hand, and vast pockets of growing hunger around the world on the other. Because of socio-economic inequities between countries and within countries, millions of poor people around the world do not have adequate access to food. A clear recognition of this truth would call for a humane and equitable economic order at both the global and national levels. Today, because of the debt crisis and the stipulations of international lending agencies, many developing countries are forced to manage their macroeconomic policies in a manner that effectively prevents them from addressing the problems of poverty and hunger among deprived sections of their populations. It is in this context that the following statements (items 16 and 17) in the declaration become highly relevant.

Efforts of low-income countries should be supported by actions of the international community as a whole. Such actions should include an increase in official development assistance in order to reach the accepted United Nations target of 0.7 percent of the GNP of developed countries as reiterated at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. Also, further renegotiation or alleviation of external debt could contribute in a substantive manner to the nutritional well-being in medium-income countries as well as in low-income ones. We acknowledge the importance of further liberalization and expansion of world trade, which would increase foreign exchange earnings and employment in developing countries. Compensatory measures will continue to be needed to protect adversely affected developing countries and vulnerable groups in medium- and low-income countries from negative effects of structural adjustment programmes.

In consonance with the above statements, the World Declaration also pleads (item 10) for a rational redeployment and redirection of available resources "towards productive and socially useful purposes to ensure the nutritional well-being of all people, especially the poor, deprived and vulnerable", seizing the opportunity now created by "changing world conditions and the reduction of international tensions".

The wide expectation implicit in the above statement that, with the cessation of the cold war and consequent ending of the need for an armaments race, the resources of wealthy countries will become increasingly available for socially constructive purposes has not, as yet, materialized. Protective trade barriers which have served to perpetuate (and indeed to aggravate) existing inequities have not been dismantled But perhaps it is too soon to give up all hope in this regard.

Food aid

The bold and enlightened plea on food aid contained in items 14 and 15 of the World Declaration, and in particular the affirmation (item 15) that "in the context of international humanitarian law, food must not be used as a tool for political pressure" and that "food aid must not be denied because of political affiliation, geographic location, gender, age, ethnic, tribal or religious identity" is noteworthy, especially considering that the signatories to this statement included both the providers and receivers of food aid.

Specific goals

The World Declaration ends (item 19) with a statement of specific goals - the elimination of acute malnutrition in its many forms such as famine and acute starvation, and the substantial reduction of the chronic, less severe forms of undernutrition. These specific goals are no doubt laudable. Perhaps some of them are unlikely to be attained even "substantially" within the decade, even so, to the extent that the statement of these goals reflects the earnest commitment of the official participants to the cause of the nutritional improvement of their peoples, it must be welcome.

Plan of action for nutrition

The Plan of Action adopted at the conference lists overall objectives, sets out policy guidelines designed to achieve these objectives, discusses strategies and actions and the organizational and administrative arrangements that may be needed for this purpose, and ends with recommendations for follow-up action. The Plan of Action is a fairly comprehensive statement, though some issues that deserve special focus in the light of emerging developments may not have received adequate emphasis. The following are some salient aspects of the Plan of Action.

Nutritional orientation to agricultural and food-production policies

The Plan of Action refers to the need for "strengthening agricultural policies" (item 10) and more specifically to the need for investment in agricultural research (item 27), "to promote environmentally sound and economically viable farming systems to increase crop production and maintain soil quality, to encourage resource management and resource recycling" and "to encourage the development of safe biotechnology in animal and plant breeding and facilitate the exchange of new advances in biotechnology related to nutrition".

While these recommendations are good as far as they go, in the form in which they have been stated they have not succeeded adequately in alerting the world to the major dangers that currently threaten food production systems, especially in some developing countries. Salinization and alkalinization of soils and depletion of soil micronutrients brought on by ill-monitored farming technologies are posing serious threats to soil fertility in parts of Asia. The conference could have given a clear warning in this regard, and appropriate remedial measures should be a distinct part of overall ICN follow-up actions.

Another important aspect of food production that has not received adequate focus in the ICN's recommendation is the growing threat to reverie and marine food sources. Because of uncontrolled discharge of industrial effluents and untreated sewage into ponds, rivers, seas and coastal systems, there has been not only a progressive depletion of marine food sources but also disturbing evidence of poisoning of marine foods with toxic metals. With increasing industrialization, not always regulated by adequate environmental safeguards, this problem could acquire larger dimensions in the years to come. The ICN could have drawn forceful attention to this emerging threat. Again, strong action in controlling these problems is clearly integral to implementation of both the ICN recommendations and those of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED).

Furthermore, unlike research in the era of the green revolution, which was freely shared and disseminated, biotechnology research at present is largely privatized and commercialized. The results of such research are often shrouded in secrecy and are not being freely shared If this trend is not discouraged, the inequities that lie at the root of the nutritional problems of the world could grow. An international code of conduct with respect to the sharing of information arising from research in plant breeding using genetic engineering biotechnology is necessary. The raw materials needed for much of this research come from poor developing countries with rich biodiversity. Legal and humanitarian considerations would argue in favour of free exchange and dissemination of information generated from research on this material. Techniques related to combating undernutrition around the world should not be allowed to become instruments for commercial exploitation. A forthright stand on this important issue could have greatly added to the credibility and stature of the ICN.

Household food security

The section on improving household food security (items 29, 30 and 31) constitutes, as it were, the central part of the Plan of Action and has been dealt with comprehensively and ably. This section should prove especially valuable to policy-makers in developing countries. This is as it should be, considering that poor access to food on the part of millions of poor households is currently the major cause of undernutrition in the world.

However, since the section covers a very wide ground, the recommendations in it may appear to be of an omnibus character. Because of severe resource constraints, many developing countries will find themselves unable to attempt several of the laudable recommendations contained in this section, Public food distribution systems in several developing countries are subject to severe strain. The economic implications of prevailing food subsidies are being debated, as is the sustainability of ongoing large-scale food supplementation programmes. Employment generation programmes which could help to raise income levels of poor households suffer from limitations. Also, several well-conceived programmes for improving household food security are often disrupted by the periodic supervention of large-scale disasters - floods, droughts and cyclones -to which some unfortunate countries are prone. Under the circumstances, the necessity to tide over the population from one crisis to another hardly leaves adequate time and resources for an orderly attack on the problems of poverty and poor access to food which lie at the heart of the nutrition problem of poor countries. Despite these limitations, the recommendations in the section on household food security should provide valuable guidance.

Food quality and safety

The need for ensuring food quality and safety (item 32) has also received the attention it legitimately deserves.

This aspect will gain increasing importance in the years to come. In many developing countries today, rapid urbanization is resulting in the proliferation of overcrowded and unsanitary urban slums. This is greatly adding to the urgency and importance of the need for institutional arrangements to ensure minimum standards of food quality.

Urbanization also poses serious threats to breast-feeding, which has always been depended upon as the last resort for infant nutrition in many poor developing countries. With changing occupational patterns, with mothers having to work outside their homes in unorganized labour sectors with no facility for breast-feeding their infants at work sites and with no maternity leave benefits, breast-feeding in urban areas could come under increasing strain. Commercial baby foods, street foods and ready-to-eat foods will be more widely used. With the poor sanitary facilities and the lack of effective machinery for the formulation and enforcement of food standards in many developing countries, serious hazards to health and nutrition, especially of children, may be expected. This must be considered as one of the major emerging threats to nutritional well-being as we approach the turn of this century. The importance of this problem should be forcefully highlighted in the implementation of the Plan of Action at all levels,.

The need for enforcement of food standards gains added urgency because of the mounting evidence of toxic contamination of foods through industrial effluents. Countries in developmental transition will be subject to increasing hazards of food contamination because of their problems of urbanization and industrialization. Effective food control not only is important for protecting domestic consumers but also increases opportunities for international trade. Furthermore, harmonization of food standards would remove some types of trade barriers that can inhibit agricultural development.

Controlling specific micronutrient deficiencies

The ICN needs to be especially congratulated on its balanced recommendations on the subject of control of micronutrient deficiencies. In recent years, there has been an orchestrated campaign to promote the use of massive doses of synthetic vitamin A to answer the problem of vitamin A deficiency in children, while ritualistic lip-service has been paid to a food-based approach, In contrast to this trend, the ICN in its Plan of Action (item 43) pleads forcefully for a policy of "promoting the dissemination of nutrition information and giving priority to breast-feeding and other sustainable food-based approaches that encourage dietary diversification through the production and consumption of micronutrient-rich foods, including appropriate traditional foods". The drug-based approach (periodic massive doses of synthetic vitamin A) that had been widely promoted earlier has wisely been relegated by the ICN to its rightful place in the far background:

Supplementation of intakes with vitamin A, iodine and iron may be required on a short-term basis to reinforce dietary approaches in severely deficient populations, utilizing primary health care services when possible Supplementation should be directed at the appropriate vulnerable groups, especially women of reproductive age (iodine and iron), infants and young children, the elderly, refugees and displaced persons. Supplementation should be progressively phased out as soon as micronutrient-rich food-based strategies enable adequate consumption of micronutrients.

This is a truly commendable stand which wisely refuses to endorse the exaggerated claims of life-saving properties of synthetic vitamin A and the misconceived attempts at enlarging the use of massive doses of synthetic vitamin A in public health programmes. It is to be hoped that this clear enunciation of the policy for containing micronutrient deficiency by the ICN will serve to correct the aberrations and distortions that have crept into the management of this problem in quite a few developing countries in recent years, much to their detriment.

Focus on women and adolescent girls

Though there is a reference to women and adolescent girls as deserving of focus in nutrition-improvement programmes, the emphasis on this aspect is perhaps not as strong as it could have been Adolescent girls (the mothers-to-be) are currently the segment of the population most neglected by health/nutrition/welfare programmes. Today, millions of teenage girls in Asia are entering motherhood long before they have completed their own growth and development and at an age when they are physiologically and psychologically unprepared for motherhood. Low birth weights of offspring, high maternal mortality rates, poor child-rearing practices and large family sizes are the unfortunate results.

There is convincing epidemiological evidence from many parts of the world of the major role that women can have in ensuring the health and nutritional status of families and households. Improvement of the health, educational level, status and overall competence of women can yield rich dividends to a nation and society as a whole. There is a demonstrable direct correlation between a society's female literacy level and its status with respect to health, nutrition and overall socio-economic development. Though this message does not come out as forcefully as one would have desired from the ICN, the reference to the need for adequate focus on women and adolescent girls is welcome.

Follow-up action

The Plan of Action adopted at the conference concludes with the following statement with which few would disagree:

The ICN should be viewed as a milestone in the continuing process to eliminate hunger and malnutrition, especially in the developing countries. The ICN preparatory process began at the national and regional levels and, to be effective its follow-up must now be firmly anchored in national and regional commitment and efforts to protect and promote the nutritional well-being of all.

In the ultimate analysis, the true test of the success of the conference will lie in the follow-up action, especially at the country level, that the conference is able to generate. Action at both the country and international levels is important. The impetus provided by the ICN must be wisely used to initiate sustained action. The logical expectation is that FAO and WHO would help countries to undertake the implementation of the useful suggestions that have emerged at the conference in a phased manner. This will be facilitated if the UN favourably considers the conference recommendation for a declaration of an "International Decade of Food and Nutrition". However, without waiting for a formal declaration of such an international decade, what is immediately important is to ensure that the momentum generated by the conference is not dissipated It is hoped that the Food Policy and Nutrition Division of FAO and the Nutrition Division of WHO will be adequately equipped and strengthened to provide meaningful sustained support and stimulus to national follow-up efforts. The ICN will be viewed as a milestone only if meaningful sustained follow-up actions at the country level are thus stimulated A tremendous responsibility rests on the organizers and participants of the conference to ensure that this in fact does happen.

Conférence internationale sur la nutrition: Vue d'ensemble et commentaire

La Déclaration mondiale et le Plan d'action de la Conférence internationale sur la nutrition reflètent les opinions émises par l'ensemble des gouvernements, des organisations non gouvernementales et de la communauté scientifique. Par le passé, on a souvent lié les programmes de nutrition au domaine social ou encore à celui de l'urgence plutôt qu'à celui du développement. La décision d'organiser la CIN a clairement prouvé la reconnaissance, encore que tardive, du fait que l'assurance d'une bonne nutrition pour tous constitue un objectif majeur et essentiel du développement.

Dans la Déclaration mondiale de la Conférence, il est clairement exprimé que les inégalités et les absurdités du monde d'aujourd'hui sont à l'origine de la malnutrition et que cette affirmation appelle à l'établissement d'un ordre économique plus équitable et plus humain au niveau mondial et au niveau des pays. Cependant, l'espoir permis par la fin de la guerre froide que les pays riches fourniraient davantage de fonds dans des domaines sociaux ne s'est pas concrétisé et les barrières commerciales qui aggravent les inégalités n'ont pas été levées.

La priorité donnée à la sécurité alimentaire des ménages, aux approches nutritionnelles visant à éliminer les carences en micronutriments, ainsi qu'à l'innocuité des produits alimentaires sont fondées. Toutefois, certaines recommandations spécifiques seront difficiles à appliquer parce que les pays manquent de ressources pour les programmes d'alimentation et parce que l'urgence monopolise l'attention, au détriment des programmes à long terme. De plus, les recommandations de la CIN n'alertent pas assez le monde des graves dangers que la dégradation de l'environnement et la contamination font courir aux systèmes de production alimentaire et aux zones urbaines, ni du besoin de technologies durables.

La CIN a attiré l'attention sur la nécessité d'une large coordination intersectorielle. Le fait que la Conférence ait été organisée conjointement par la FAO et l'OMS a une signification pratique ainsi qu'historique, puisque l'action conjointe des deux organisations et leur collaboration en matière de sciences et programmes nutritionnels ont été bénéfiques dans le passé.

En dernière analyse, la véritable évaluation de la CIN se fera sur les actions de suivi, notamment au niveau des pays. Les organisateurs et les participants de la Conférence ont maintenant l'énorme responsabilité d'assurer que la dynamique créée par la CIN ne s'essouffle pas.

Conferencia internacional sobre nutrición: Una visión general y comentario

La Declaración Mundial y el Plan de Acción aprobados durante la Conferencia Internacional sobre Nutrición (CIN) reflejan las consideraciones y opiniones colectivas de los gobiernos, organizaciones no gubernamentales y científicos. Históricamente, los programas de nutrición han sido considerados operaciones de asistencia social y de ayuda antes que premoniciones para el desarrollo. La decisión de llevar a cabo la CIN significó el reconocimiento - aunque con retraso - de que asegurar una nutrición óptima para todo el mundo es un objetivo principal, central del desarrollo.

La opinión expresada en la Declaración, de que las desigualdades e incongruencias del mundo de hoy están a la base de la malnutrición, es altamente significativa, y un claro reconocimiento de esta verdad llama a un orden económico humano y equitativo a nivel mundial y nacional. Aun así, no se han materializado las expectativas, creadas con el fin de la guerra fría, de un uso de los recursos de los países ricos para propósitos socialmente constructivos, y no se han desmantelado las barreras al comercio que agravan las desigualdades.

Se ha avanzado dando prioridad a la seguridad alimentaria en los hogares; a los enfoques basados en la alimentación para terminar con las carencias de micronutrientes, y a la inocuidad de los alimentos; sin embargo, las recomendaciones específicas pueden ser difíciles de alcanzar debido a los escasos recursos disponibles para programas alimentarios, y que muchas veces se emplean para emergencias, en perjuicio de los programas a largo plazo. Además, las recomendaciones de la CIN no alertan adecuadamente al mundo acerca de los graves peligros con que la degradación y la contaminación ambiental amenazan a los sistemas de producción alimentaria y las áreas urbanas, ni acerca de la necesidad de tecnologías sostenibles.

La CIN llamó la atención sobre la necesidad de una amplia coordinación intersectorial. El hecho de que la CIN haya sido auspiciada conjuntamente por la FAO y la OMS es política e históricamente significativo, ya que su acción conjunta y colaboración en el campo de la ciencia y los programas nutricionales han dado frutos gratificantes en el pasado.

La verdadera prueba del suceso de la CIN estará en las acciones de seguimiento, especialmente a nivel de los países, que la Conferencia será capaz de generar. Los organizadores y los participantes de la Conferencia tienen ahora la gran responsabilidad de asegurar que esto suceda, y que se mantenga el ímpetu generado por ella.

(introduction...)

The Codex Alimentarius Commission 1 is a subsidiary body of the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization. It was established to formulate internationally accepted food safety standards with the aim of protecting the consumer's health and ensuring fair trade practices. The Commission is composed of 144 member countries.

1 Codex alimentarius is a Latin expression meaning "food code" or "food law".

CODEX general principles for food import and export inspection and certification

Draft stresses consumer's role

The first session of the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS) was held in Canberra, Australia from 21 to 25 September 1992. The meeting included extensive discussions concerning the elements required for establishing principles for food inspection and certification, Particular attention was given to consumers.

The Committee recognized the importance of risk assessment in improving food safety and expressed the view that consumer confidence in the systems would be increased through the use of transparent procedures based on sound scientific principles and validation controls. The committee noted that consumers' perceptions of risk, which are often subjective in nature, could be best addressed through adequate risk management and assessment procedures.

As a result of these discussions, the committee agreed that a statement reflecting the rationale that consumer confidence could be enhanced through increased transparency of national inspection and certification processes would be included in the proposed draft principles. The principles recognize that operations of food inspection and certification systems should be subjected to scrutiny by consumers and their respective organizations.

Given the importance of these matters to its future work, the committee decided to forward the proposed draft principles directly to the Codex Alimentarius Commission so that they may be adopted at the earliest opportunity.

D.H. Byron
Food Standards Officer, Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme

La Commission du Codex Alimentarius 1 est un organe subsidiaire de l'Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture et de l'Organisation mondiale de la santé qui a été créé pour mettre au point des normes de sécurité alimentaire universellement acceptées. Ces normes visent à protéger la santé des consommateurs et à garantir des pratiques commerciales équitables. La Commission se compose de 144 pays membres.

1 Codex alimentarius est une expression latine signifiant «code alimentaire» ou «législation sur les produits alimentaires»

Principes généraux du CODEX applicables à l'inspection et à la certification des importations et des exportations alimentaires

Le projet souligne le rôle des consommateurs

Le Comité du Codex sur les systèmes d'inspection et de certification des importations et des exportations alimentaires a tenu sa première session à Canberra (Australie) du 21 au 25 septembre 1992. Lors de la réunion, on a longuement discuté des éléments requis pour l'établissement des principes applicables à l'inspection et à la certification des denrées alimentaires et une attention particulière a été accordée aux consommateurs.

Le Comité a reconnu l'importance de l'évaluation des risques pour améliorer l'innocuité des aliments et il est convenu que la confiance des consommateurs dans les systèmes augmenterait avec l'utilisation de procédures transparentes fondées sur des principes scientifiques et des contrôles de validation judicieux. Le Comité a noté que le mieux serait de recourir à des procédures appropriées de gestion et d'évaluation des risques, face a l'appréciation des risques par les consommateurs, qui est souvent subjective.

A la suite de ces débats, le Comité est convenu d'insérer dans le projet de principes une déclaration reposant logiquement sur le fait que la confiance des consommateurs augmenterait si les procédures nationales d'inspection et de certification étaient plus transparentes. Les principes reconnaissent que les opérations des systèmes d'inspection et de certification des produits alimentaires devraient être soumises à l'examen des consommateurs et des organisations qui les représentent.

Le Comité, étant donné l'importance de ces questions pour ses travaux futurs a décidé de communiquer le projet de principes directement à la Commission du Codex Alimentarius afin qu'il puisse être adopté dès que possible.

D.H. Byron
Charge des normes alimentaires, Programme mixte FAO/OMS sur les normes alimentaires

La Comisión del Codex Alimentarius 1 (144 países miembros) es un órgano auxiliar de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación y la Organización Mundial de la Salud establecido para elaborar normas alimentarias internacionalmente aceptadas, destinadas a proteger la salud de los consumidores y asegurar prácticas equitativas en el comercio de los alimentos.

1 Codex alimentarius es una expresión latina que significa "código alimentario" o "legislación alimentaria".

Principios generales del CODEX para la inspección y certificación de las importaciones y exportaciones de alimentos

El ante proyecto destaca el papel de los consumidores

El Comité del Codex sobre Sistemas de Inspección y Certificación de Importaciones y Exportaciones de Alimentos (CCFICS) celebró su primera reunión en Canberra (Australia) del 21 al 25 de septiembre de 1992. En esa oportunidad se desarrolló un amplio debate acerca de los elementos en que había de basarse el establecimiento de principios para la inspección y certificación de alimentos, prestándose particular atención al papel de los consumidores.

El Comité reconoció la importancia de la evaluación de riesgos a efectos de mejorar la inocuidad de los alimentos, y observó que la adopción de procedimientos transparentes con una sólida base científica, unida a la aplicación de los adecuados controles para confirmar su validez, aumentarían la confianza de los consumidores en los sistemas adoptados. Asimismo, se observó que unos procedimientos apropiados de control y evaluación del riesgo permitirían responder mejor a la percepción, a menudo subjetiva, que los consumidores tienen de él.

Como resultado de este debate, el Comité convino en incluir en el anteproyecto de Principios una declaración que reflejara el mencionado concepto de que unos procedimientos nacionales de inspección y certificación más transparentes permitirían acrecentar la confianza del consumidor. En el anteproyecto se reconoce que la aplicación de los sistemas de inspección y certificación de alimentos debe ser objeto de un examen minucioso por parte de los consumidores y de sus organizaciones.

Dada la importancia de estas cuestiones para la futura labor del Comité este decidió presentar directamente el anteproyecto de Principios a la Comisión del Codex Alimentarius a fin de que lo aprobara tan pronto como fuera posible.

D.H. Byron
Oficial de Normas Alimentarias, Programa Conjunto FAO/OMS sobre Normas Alimentarias

(introduction...)


Figure

Food and human nutrition CD-ROM: nearly infinite possibilities

At the International Conference on Nutrition, the first AGRIS (International Information System for Agricultural Sciences and Technology) CD-ROM on Food and Human Nutrition (FHN) was demonstrated. The FHN disk contains 276 247 bibliographic references entered in the AGRIS database between 1975 and July 1992. The references comprise mainly journal articles and a smaller proportion of monographs, conference papers and reports, theses and technical documents. The information provided covers food science and technology, food processing and preservation, food contamination and toxicology, food consumption, food additives, food packaging, the general aspects of human nutrition, the physiology of human nutrition, diet-related diseases and nutrition programmes. All titles are searchable in English; the descriptors are searchable in English, French and Spanish.

What is the CD-ROM?

The initials CD-ROM stand for Compact Disk - Read Only Memory. One of the most recent jewels of electro-optical technology, the disk allows for the storage and retrieval of vast amounts of information It is 'read" with the aid of a player connected to the personal computer. The minimum hardware requirement to run the CD-ROM is a Macintosh or IBM PC-XT, AT or PS/2 or compatible. It should have at least 640 Kb in RAM and a hard disk with 2 Mb of free disk space. The CD-ROM player should have an interface for PCs. The requisite software comprises the SPIRS retrieval programme produced by SilverPlatter (MacSPIRS for the Macintosh).

Characteristics of AGRIS

AGRIS identifies and processes worldwide literature on all aspects of agriculture Each country participating in the system provides the relevant input produced within its own boundaries and draws from the system according to its needs.

AGRIS boasted two million references at September 1992 As an example, the two-millionth reference reads: Intensifying dairy production different logic and practices in Europe. The reference covers intracountry policies vis-à-vis milk production, dairy cows, production increase, labour productivity, farm management, livestock management and animal husbandry methods.

The advantages of a participatory network

A cooperative system's advantage is not immediately apparent, it is argued that a national centre inputs relatively unimportant material. But in the world of information exchange, what is negligible to one participant may be of considerable relevance to another. Often one country cannot afford the wide and versatile research programmes of another, more prosperous country, while from the point of view of agricultural information, the former may well be a valuable fount of knowledge based on its own geophysical and climatic diversity. The regular and systematic exchange of experiences in the fields of science and agriculture can bring huge benefits to countries that, without a cooperative information network, might have waited years to learn of results of much import to them.

Installing a database and becoming part of a worldwide cooperative system implies a spirit of scientific give-and-take. Not only can the participant scan the records of numerous generic and specific research initiatives and their results, adopting and exploiting them for the participant's own particular needs; but the information, which comes from all over the world and is pooled in one central database, can be adapted to any given climatological and geophysical environment, thus providing a potentially invaluable tool for global information and forecasting.

In a cooperative network knowledge itself becomes a movable commodity, within reach of everyone, everywhere. Knowledge enables the centres to grow, strengthening their capabilities and enhancing the very framework of their systems.

How to obtain the AGRIS CD-ROMs

Both the AGRIS and FHN CD-ROMs are distributed free of charge to all AGRIS participating centres, providing the widest possible media dissemination. The AGRIS CD-ROM is updated on a quarterly basis; that on Food and Human Nutrition twice a year.

The FHN CD-ROM was produced under licence by SilverPlatter N.V., which has agreed to sell the AGRIS CD-ROM at a very reasonable cost. The AGRIS current disk (1991 onwards, updated quarterly) is priced at US$ 750 per year. An archive disk set including data for 1975-85 (two disks) is priced at US$ 550, an archive set including data for 1975-90 (four disks) costs US$ 1 250. The starter set (comprising a current disk and four-disk archive set) costs US$ 1850. The AGRIS FHN disk itself sells at US$ 750. A discount of 50 percent is offered on any order received from a developing country.

Interested FAO projects can forward their requests to the FAO Library Other users may contact SilverPlatter directly either in the United States:

SilverPlatter Information (USA)
100 River Ridge Drive
Norwood, MA 02062, USA
Tel: 1-800-343-0064
1-617-769-2599
Fax: 1-617-769-8763

or in the United Kingdom:

SilverPlatter Sales Department (UK)
10 Barley Mow Passage
Chiswick, London W4 4PH UK
Tel: 0800-282-133,81-995-8242
Fax: 81-995-5159

Information on current projects

The Current Agricultural Research Information System (CARIS) was also demonstrated during the International Conference on Nutrition CARIS provides information concerning ongoing projects conducted in, or on behalf of, developing countries This system offers participating countries a mechanism for the collection organization and dissemination of information on their current research activities Since CARIS uses a methodology compatible with AGRIS applying the same classification and using the same thesaurus, it constitutes a viable subject-specific, parallel input and retrieval system

E.K. Samaha
Director, Library and Documentation Systems Division

CD-ROM sur l'alimentation et la nutrition humaine: des possibilités pratiquement infinies

Le premier disque compact-ROM sur l'alimentation et la nutrition humaine (FHN) d'AGRIS (Système international d'information pour les sciences et la technologie agricoles) a été présenté a la Conférence internationale sur la nutrition. Le disque FHN contient 276 247 références bibliographiques introduites dans la base de données AGRIS entre 1975 et juillet 1992. Les références comprennent essentiellement des articles de journaux et, dans une moindre proportion, des monographies, des documents et des rapports de conférence, des thèses et des documents techniques. L'information fournie couvre les sciences et technologies alimentaires, le traitement et la conservation des denrées alimentaires, la contamination et la toxicologie des denrées alimentaires, la consommation alimentaire, les additifs alimentaires, l'emballage des denrées alimentaires, les aspects généraux de la nutrition humaine, la physiologie de la nutrition humaine, les maladies liées au régime alimentaire et les programmes nutritionnels. Tous les titres sont consultables en anglais; les descripteurs le sont en anglais, français et espagnol.

Qu'est-ce que le CD-ROM?

Les initiales CD-ROM correspondent à l'anglais Compact Disk - Read Only Memory. Ce disque, un des plus récents joyaux de la technologie électro-optique, permet de stocker et de rechercher un volume considérable d'informations. Il est «lu» à l'aide d'un lecteur relié à l'ordinateur personnel Le matériel minimal nécessaire pour exploiter le CD-ROM est un Macintosh ou un IBM PC-XT, AT ou PS/2 ou compatible Il doit avoir au moins 640 Ko en mémoire vive et un disque dur avec 2 Mo d'espace libre Le lecteur de CD-ROM doit avoir une interface pour les ordinateurs PC Le logiciel nécessaire comprend le programme de recherche SPIRS produit par Silver Platter (MacSPIRS pour le Macintosh).

Caractéristiques d'AGRIS

AGRIS identifie et traite la documentation mondiale concernant tous les aspects de l'agriculture Chaque pays participant au système lui fournit les informations pertinentes produites sur son territoire et exploite le système en fonction de ses besoins.

En septembre 1992, AGRIS pouvait se vanter de posséder 2 millions de références. A titre d'exemple, la deux millionième est la suivante Intensification de la production laitière logique et pratiques européennes. Elle couvre les politiques des différents pays en matière de production laitière, vaches laitières, augmentation de la production, productivité de la main-d'oeuvre, gestion des exploitations gestion du bétail et méthodes d'élevage.

Avantages d'un réseau participatif

Les avantages d'un système coopératif ne sautent pas immédiatement aux yeux on peut dire à son encontre qu'un centre national ne fournit que du matériel relativement peu important Mais, en matière d'échange d'informations, ce qui semble négligeable à un participant peut être extrêmement important pour un autre Il arrive souvent qu'un pays ne puisse pas s'offrir les programmes de recherche tous azimuts d'un pays plus prospère, alors que, du point de vue de l'information agricole, il peut être une source de connaissances précieuses grâce à sa propre diversité géophysique et climatique. L'échange régulier et systématique de données d'expérience dans les domaines de la science et de l'agriculture peut rendre d'immenses services aux pays qui, en l'absence d'un réseau d'information de ce type, risqueraient d'attendre des années pour entendre parler de résultats très importants pour eux.

L'installation d'une base de données et l'insertion dans un système coopératif de dimensions mondiales implique un esprit de collaboration scientifique sur la base du donnant, donnant. Non seulement le participant a accès à des informations détaillées sur de nombreux projets de recherche génériques et spécifiques et sur leurs résultats et peut les adopter et les exploiter en fonction de ses propres besoins; mais l'information, qui provient du monde entier et est centralisée dans une base de données unique, peut être adaptée à n'importe quel environnement climatologique et géophysique et devient ainsi un instrument potentiel d'information et de prévision à l'échelle mondiale.

Dans un réseau coopératif, les connaissances elles-mêmes deviennent un produit échangeable, à la portée de tous, en tous lieux. Ces connaissances permettent aux centres de croître, de renforcer leurs capacités et d'améliorer le cadre même de leurs systèmes.

Comment obtenir les CD-ROM AGRIS

Les disques compact-ROM AGRIS et FHN sont distribués gratuitement à tous les centres participant à AGRIS et sont ainsi diffusés le plus largement possible. Les CD-ROM AGRIS sont mis à jour tous les trimestres, celui sur l'alimentation et la nutrition humaine deux fois par an.

Le disque compact-ROM FHN a été produit sous licence par Silver Platter N.V., qui a accepté de le vendre à un prix très raisonnable, Le prix du disque AGRIS portant sur la période actuelle (à partir de 1991, misa jour tous les trimestres) est fixé à 750 dollars U.S. par an. Un jeu de disques d'archives comprenant des données pour 1975-1985 (deux disques) est vendu 550 dollars; un jeu d'archives comprenant des données pour l'ensemble de la période 1975-1990 (quatre disques) coûte 1 250 dollars. Le jeu complet (comprenant un disque pour la période actuelle et un jeu de quatre disques d'archives) coûte 1 850 dollars. Le disque FHN d'AGRIS se vend 750 dollars. Toute commande provenant d un pays en développement bénéficie d'une réduction de 50 pour cent.

Les projets FAO intéressés peuvent adresser leurs commandes à la bibliothèque de la FAO Les autres utilisateurs peuvent contacter directement SilverPlatter soit aux Etats-Unis, à l'adresse ci-après:

SilverPlatter Information (USA)
100 River Ridge Drive
Norwood MA 02062, Etats-Unis
Tél: 1-800-343-0064, 1 -617-769-2599
Télécopie: 1-617-769-8763

soit au Royaume-Uni à l'adresse ci-après:

SilverPlatter Sales Department (UK)
10 Barley Mow Passage
Chiswick Londres W4 4PH,
Royaume-Uni
Tèl: 0800-282-133 81-995-8242
Télécopie: 81-995-5159

Informations sur les projets en cours

Le Système d information sur les recherches agronomiques en cours (CARIS) a également été présenté au cours de la Conférence internationale sur la nutrition CARIS fournit des informations sur les projets en cours de réalisation dans les pays en développement ou pour leur compte. Ce système offre aux pays participants un mécanisme pour la collecte l'organisation et la diffusion d informations sur leurs activités de recherche en cours. Etant donne que CARIS utilise une méthodologie compatible avec AGRIS puisque il utilise le même classement et le même thesaurus, il constitue un système parallèle d information (introduction et recherche) par sujet viable

E.K. Samaha
Directeur, Division de la bibliothèque et des systèmes documentaires

CD-ROM sobre la alimentación y la nutrición humana: posibilidades casi infinitas

Durante la Conferencia Internacional sobre Nutrición se hizo una demostración del primer CD-ROM de AGRIS (Sistema Internacional de Información sobre Ciencias y Tecnología Agrícolas) sobre la alimentación y la nutrición humana, El disco contiene 276 247 referencias bibliográficas que se han introducido en la base de datos de AGRIS entre 1975 y julio de 1992. Las referencias consisten principalmente en artículos de revistas y en una proporción mas pequeña de monografías, documentos e informes de conferencias, tesis y documentos técnicos. La información que se ofrece abarca los siguientes sectores: ciencia y tecnología, elaboración y conservación de alimentos, contaminación y toxicología de los alimentos, consumo de alimentos, empaquetado de alimentos, aspectos generales de la nutrición humana, fisiología de la nutrición humana, enfermedades relacionadas con la dieta y programas de nutrición. Todos los títulos pueden buscarse en inglés; los descriptos, en español, francés o inglés.

¿Qué es un CD-ROM?

Las iniciales CD-ROM significan disco compacto con memoria sólo para lectura. El disco, una de las joyas más recientes de la electroóptica, permite el almacenamiento y la búsqueda de grandes cantidades de información y se «lee» con la ayuda de un lector de discos compactos conectado a la computadora personal El equipo mínimo necesario para hacer funcionar el CD ROM es una computadora Macintosh o una IBM o compatible Debe tener al menos 640 KB de memoria viva (RAM) y un disco duro con 2 MB de espacio libre El lector de CD-ROM debe estar dotado de una interfaz para computadoras personales El programa que debe utilizarse es el programa de búsqueda SPIRS producido por SilverPlatter (MacSPIRS para el Macintosh).

Características de AGRIS

AGRIS identifica y procesa material informativo procedente del mundo entero sobre todos los aspectos de la agricultura Cada país que participa en el sistema proporciona las entradas pertinentes producidas en el ámbito nacional y utiliza el sistema según sus necesidades.

En septiembre de 1992 AGRIS tenía dos millones de referencias Para citar un ejemplo, la referencia número dos millones dice lo siguiente. Intensificación de la producción laitière: logique et practiques européennes. La referencia describe las políticas de cada país con respecto a la producción lechera, vacas lecheras incremento de la producción, productividad de la mano de obra, explotación del ganado y métodos de zootecnia.

Ventajas de una red participativa

La ventaja de un sistema cooperativo no se manifiesta inmediatamente se alega que un centro nacional introduce material relativamente poco importante Pero en el mundo del intercambio de información, lo que es insignificante para un participante puede ser de importancia considerable para otro. A menudo un país no puede permitirse los programas de investigación amplios y plurivalentes de países más prósperos, pero desde el punto de vista de la información agrícola, puede muy bien ser una fuente valiosa de conocimientos basados en su propia diversidad geofísica y climática. El intercambio periódico y sistemático de experiencia en los sectores de la ciencia y la agricultura puede beneficiar en gran medida a los países que, de no disponer de una red cooperativa de información, habrían tenido que esperar muchos años para conocer resultados de interés para ellos.

La instalación de una base de datos y la incorporación de un sistema cooperativo mundial requiere un espíritu dispuesto a las concesiones mutuas en el plano científico. El participante no sólo puede examinar los datos y los resultados de numerosas actividades de investigación genérica y específica, adoptándolos y aprovechándolos para sus necesidades particulares, sino que la información, que procede de todas partes del mundo y se reúne en una base de datos central, puede adaptarse a cualquier medio ambiente climatológico y geofísico, proporcionando así un instrumento de un valor potencial incalculable para la información y los pronósticos mundiales.

En una red cooperativa, el conocimiento mismo se convierte en un producto móvil que está al alcance de todos en todas partes. Ese conocimiento permite que los centros crezcan, fortalezcan sus capacidades y mejoren la estructura de sus sistemas.

Cómo obtener los CD-ROM de AGRIS

Los CD-ROM de AGRIS y el nuevo sobre la alimentación y la nutrición humana se distribuyen gratuitamente a todos los centros que participan en AGRIS, permitiendo así la divulgación más amplia posible, Los CD-ROM de AGRIS se actualiza trimestralmente, y el relativo a la alimentación y la nutrición humana, semestralmente, Este último CD-ROM ha sido producido, con la licencia correspondiente, por SilverPlatter N.V., que ha convenido en venderlo a un precio muy razonable.

Por lo que respecta a los CD-ROM de AGRIS, el precio del disco actual (de 1991 en adelante, actualizado cada trimestre) es de 750 dólares EE.UU., al año; el juego de discos de archivo que contiene los datos relativos a 1975-1985 (dos discos) cuesta 550 dólares EE.UU. , y el que contiene los datos relativos a 1975-1990 (cuatro discos) cuesta 1 250 dólares EE.UU. El juego completo AGRIS (que comprende el disco actual y el juego de cuatro discos de archivo) cuesta 1 850 dólares EE.UU. El nuevo disco de AGRIS sobre la alimentación y la nutrición humana se vende a 750 dólares EE.UU. existe un descuento del 50 por ciento para las órdenes de países en desarrollo.

Los proyectos de la FAO interesados pueden enviar sus pedidos a la Biblioteca de la FAO Los demás interesados pueden dirigirse directamente a SilverPlatter ya sea en los Estados Unidos:

Silver Platter Information (USA)
100 River Ridge Drive
Norwood MA 02062 USA
Tel: 1-800-343-0064,1-617-769-2599
Fax: 1-617-769-8763

o en el Reino Unido:

SilverPlatter Sales Department (UK)
10 Barley Mow Passage
Chiswick, London W4 4PH, UK
Tel: 0800-282-133,81-995-8242
Fax: 81-995-5159

Información sobre los proyectos en curso

Durante la Conferencia Internacional sobre Nutrición también se hizo una demostración del Sistema de Información sobre Investigaciones Agronómicas en curso (CARIS) El CARIS proporciona información sobre los proyectos en curso que se realizan en los países en desarrollo o en nombre de éstos. El sistema ofrece a los países participantes un mecanismo para el acopio, la organización y la difusión de información sobre sus actividades de investigación en curso Dado que CARIS utiliza una metodología compatible con AGRIS aplica la misma clasificación y usa el mismo tesauro, constituye un sistema paralelo y viable de introducción y búsqueda de datos específicos.

E.K. Samaha
Director,
Dirección de la Biblioteca y Sistemas de
Documentación

Books - Livres - Libros

Les besoins énergétiques de l'homme. Manuel à l'usage des planificateurs et des nutritionnistes

Sous la direction de W.P.T. James et E.C. Schofield, FAO, 1992.
Economica, Paris. 239 pages. ISBN 2-7178-2242-9. Prix: 185 FF.

La traduction en français de l'ouvrage Human energy requirements - a manual for planners and nutritionists, réalisée par la Division des politiques alimentaires et de la nutrition, est maintenant disponible.

La recherche sur les besoins énergétiques en physiologie humaine reste l'une des préoccupations majeures des nutritionnistes. En effet, déterminer les apports énergétiques conseillés tant au niveau individuel qu'au niveau d'une population est essentiel pour la mise en oeuvre d'une politique cohérente en planification alimentaire et nutritionnelle des pays. L'alimentation, par son apport énergétique en particulier, est au centre des préoccupations humaines. La FAO, qui, avec d'autres organisations des Nations Unies, s'intéresse à ce domaine depuis plus de 40 ans, a publié de nombreux rapports de consultations d'experts et autres comités ayant travaillé sur ce sujet; le dernier est le rapport conjoint FAO/OMS/UNU d'un groupe d'experts sur les Besoins énergétiques et besoins en protéines, publié en 1986 dans la série des Rapports techniques de l'OMS (n° 724). Dans ce rapport, l'approche scientifique, plus précise qu'auparavant, repose sur le métabolisme de base, l'activité physique et différents autres facteurs. L'application de cette approche apparaît complexe, et ce manuel sur les besoins énergétiques, résultat d'une collaboration fructueuse entre un groupe de consultants et le personnel de la FAO, traite des sujets identifiés lors d'une réunion entre experts et utilisateurs potentiels. Ce manuel comporte aussi un logiciel d'application pour le calcul des besoins énergétiques de populations en fonction de différents facteurs propres à ces populations. Le logiciel utilise Lotus 1-2-3 et est disponible sur demande à la Section distribution et ventes de la FAO.

L'ouvrage comporte huit chapitres, cinq annexes et un index qui permet de retrouver rapidement les sujets importants pour comprendre les procédures de calculs des besoins selon les recommandations du rapport de 1986. Le chapitre 1 est un aperçu général sur les besoins et recommandations énergétiques. Les trois chapitres suivants traitent des principes de l'équilibre énergétique (apport/dépense), des différents niveaux d'analyse qui permettent d'estimer les besoins (métabolisme de base, activités physiques) avec la méthode du quotient d'activité physique, et de l'impact de l'urbanisation et de la structure démographique pour la détermination des besoins de la population. Le chapitre 5 donne les allocations énergétiques en fonction de ces différentes hypothèses. Le chapitre 7 aborde les aspects de l'adaptation métabolique en cas de faibles apports énergétiques. Le dernier chapitre traite des applications spéciales telles que les calculs au niveau individuel ou dans l'aide alimentaire d'urgence. Les annexes présentent des données détaillées sur la démographie des Etats Membres de la FAO, sur les normes couramment utilisées pour les poids et les tailles, le coût énergétique des activités physiques par quotient croissant, par ordre alphabétique et par catégorie professionnelle.

La lecture de cet ouvrage, écrit dans un style simple et clair, est attrayante pour toute personne cherchant à comprendre le processus de calcul des besoins énergétiques tant au niveau d'une population qu'au niveau individuel, Les nombreux tableaux, figures et diagrammes permettent de bien appréhender les différents termes abordés dans ce manuel qui complète utilement le rapport sur les Besoins énergétiques et en protéines de 1986.

S. Chevassus
Nutritionniste, Service de la planification, de l'analyse et de l'évaluation nutritionnelles

Surimi technology

Tyre C. Lanier and Chong M. Lee, eds. 1992. Food Science and Technology Series No. 50. New York, Marcel Dekker. 544 pp. ISBN 0-8247-8470-7. Price US$ 150 (United States and Canada), US$ 172 (all other countries).

The Japanese have eaten foods based on surimi, a refined fish protein product, for centuries. They prepare many kinds of foods from surimi by adding different flavors and ingredients and cooking the mixture in different ways. More recently, a new type of surimi-based product has been created which has the appearance and taste of shellfish. The new-generation product, the so-called shellfish analogue, has not only gained popularity in Japan and Korea but has also become widely accepted by the Western world, with particular success in America. Production of these surimi-based products requires an understanding of the functional properties of surimi and other ingredients as raw materials, as well as a knowledge of the processing equipment needed and the production principles concerning the effects of processing on the surimi-based formulation.

The United States food industry was quick to adopt this technology and took major steps towards a leading role in production of surimi and surimi products. Other countries are currently developing surimi industries in order to capitalize better on their fishery stocks. Along with rapid industrial development, significant advancements have been made worldwide in the scientific understanding of the technologies involved in the manufacturing of these products.

This book assembles the most current and scientifically sound information on the topic of surimi technology available anywhere. Several chapters or sets of associated chapters are written by both Western and Japanese experts on various topics of this revolutionary approach to the utilization of animal and muscle tissue as a food or food ingredient.

This book is intended to be of value chiefly to food scientists and processors, but also to curious consumers and interested investors. Readers will be able to acquire in-depth information regarding the manufacturing process for both existing and potentially interesting forms of surimi and Surimi-based products, keys to the improvement of existing processing, packaging and quality control systems for these products and a fundamental understanding of the properties of surimi as a food ingredient. Other chapters provide information on the historical development of the technology and the regulatory environment of Surimi-based foods. Those involved with food formulation will find the chapters on ingredient technology, flavor technology and the cryostabilization of surimi by additives to be of interest.

In view of the increased trade and consumption of surimi worldwide, the Codex Alimentarius has commenced the elaboration of a Code of Practice for surimi in order to protect consumers and encourage international trade. In this context, this book is most welcome for the quality of information presented, facilitating the development of better technology for safe and high-quality products.

E. Casadei
Food Standards Officer, Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme

For earth's sake

A report from the Commission on Developing Countries and Global Change. 1992. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, IDRC vii + 145 pp.

The establishment of the Commission on Developing Countries and Global Change, with support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Swedish Agency for Research Cooperation with Developing Countries (SAREC), was based on three key propositions.

· global environmental problems have potentially catastrophic implications for many developing countries;

· Third World perspectives must be integrated into the international agenda on global environmental change;

· the social dimension of these issues must be understood and resolved.

The commission examined what could be done to enhance the relevance of research on global change in relation to the needs and interest of the developing countries. The particular aim of the commission was to present an alternative Southern perspective on global environmental and social issues and, broadly speaking, to raise the profile of this perspective within the research community worldwide.

The Commission's final report, presented in this book, consists of three major parts.

Part I provides a Southern perspective on the global environment/development crisis and on the global- and national-level causes of this crisis. The elements of an equitable approach to sustainability are proposed, forming the foundation of a research agenda.

Part II looks at the roles, problems and potential of social research in relation to environment/development issues, including challenges specific to the South.

Part III presents the research agenda itself, addressing the basic principles for guiding environment/development research, specific research topics and the institutional and training requirements that would emerge from the identified research needs.

The book emphasizes the need not only for social science research on environmental issues, but also for the integration of social dimensions within environmental research. For this reason the discussion focuses on social science research on environment/development issues and the investigators are referred to as researchers on social issues.

This book proposes a uniquely Southern agenda for research into global environmental change It rejects the idea that we can resolve our ecological problems by simple adjustment of the economic system. Rather, it asserts that sustainable development requires further fundamental changes The authors have dared to envision a different future. Even more important, they have proposed ways to realize this future that could simultaneously satisfy the demands of equity, economy and ecology.

E. Casadei
Food Standards Officer, Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme

Where there is no doctor: a village health care handbook. New revised edition

David Werner with Carol Thurman and Jane Maxwell 1992 Palo Alto, CA, USA, Hesperian Foundation 512 pp. ISBN 0-942364-15-5. Price US$ 13, special prices for bulk orders and developing countries.

A health care manual first written for a rural community in Mexico and printed 15 years ago. Where there is no doctor has become widely used and is distributed throughout the world Recently, the Hesperian Foundation expanded and updated the English version of this much needed, affordable guide.

Among the many topics covered in the new text are traditional medicines and beliefs, use and misuse of modern medicines and techniques, methods to examine sick persons and to diagnose and treat common illnesses, first aid; nutrition, sanitation; family planning, and prevention of illness, New topics include acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases, drug addiction and pesticide protection Special emphasis is given to mothers, children and the elderly.

This comprehensive reference is not merely a practical source of medical information. The authors provide thoughtful advice on sharing information and encouraging community participation. Furthermore, they emphasize the importance of individuals taking greater responsibility for their health. These approaches are consistent with current recommendations of UN agencies.

While individual care is the focus of the book, the authors also stress that improved health requires more equitable distribution of resources. Indeed, without access to safe water and food, apart from medical supplies, even the low-cost, community-based interventions they recommend will be seriously hampered. However, the provision or essential goods is determined by economic growth as well as distribution, and this is not mentioned in the text.

Intended for community health workers, teachers and care providers in remote areas, Where there Is no doctor makes medical knowledge more accessible through simple language and drawings. More techniques for persons with low literacy skills would give the book even wider application. Given the international audience for this guide, future editions should include illustrations and examples drawn from different regions. Despite some shortcomings. David Werner and his colleagues have provided a useful tool in the effort to extend care to remote communities and improve health among rural people.

J. Albert
Nutrition Officer/Technical Editor, Food Policy and Nutrition Division

Nutrition communications in vitamin A programs: a resource book

International Vitamin A Consultative Group (IVACG). 1992. 124 pp. ISBN 0-944398-08-1. Single copies free of charge to developing countries, US$ 3.50 to other nations. IVACG Secretariat. The Nutrition Foundation, Inc. 1126 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA.

In 1975, the International Vitamin A Consultative Group (IVACG) was established to guide international activities for reducing vitamin A deficiency, which affects millions of children in many developing countries. Combating this micronutrient deficiency requires behavioural changes and new practices, as well as increased access to foods rich in vitamin A. Nutrition education is a direct intervention to induce changes in individual behaviour and also enhances other types of interventions to reduce nutritional problems.

To facilitate the efforts to eliminate vitamin A deficiency by the year 2000, the IVACG Communication/Education Task Force has produced an attractive, clear and concise resource book illustrated by many colorful photographs for use by professionals in government, non-governmental organizations and other agencies. Nutrition communications in vitamin A programs reflects the experiences of IVACG task force members as well as those of a wide variety of non-governmental organizations.

In reviewing concepts of nutrition education and communication and providing examples of programmes to control and prevent vitamin A deficiency, the authors provide an overview of the processes, knowledge and techniques required for successful intervention, A summary of basic methodological issues associated with the planning, development and implementation of nutrition communication programmes is given in Part 1, "Recalling the basics". Such topics as "Conducting the field investigation"; "Using creativity to deliver the message"; "Protesting the materials"; "Launching, monitoring, and evaluating the program"; and "Finding communication specialists" are included in this section.

Information on the selection of creative materials and descriptions of seven nutrition communication efforts, as well as a list of recommended readings, are provided in Part 2, "Learning from field experience". In this section, the main part of the publication, suggestions and techniques for communicating nutrition messages to the appropriate audience are offered. Examples of printed materials, radio and television advertisement scripts, slide presentations, songs and group interaction tools are given to inspire creative approaches to combating vitamin A deficiency. Actual programmes from Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mauritania. Nepal and Thailand are described and assessed.

Those who work locally, nationally or internationally in the design of nutrition communication programmes will find Nutrition communications in vitamin A programs a useful, non-technical source of information to aid in the creation of innovative activities.

J. Albert
Nutrition Officer/Technical Editor, Food Policy and Nutrition Division

Guidelines for authors

Food Nutrition and Agriculture reflects the concerns of the Food Policy and Nutrition Division of FAO covering topics such as nutrition planning assessment and evaluation nutrition programmes and food quality and safety The review welcomes articles of interest to its readers working in government institutions universities research centres non governmental organizations the food industry and the communications media in 148 countries.

Articles may be written in English French or Spanish. The style should be clear concise and easy to understand avoiding journalistic terms colloquial expressions and professional jargon. Articles may be 2 500 to 5 000 words in length with not more than about six tables and fewer than 35 references. Complete references must be provided when factual material and other viewpoints are mentioned. References require author name(s) date title place of publication and publisher (for books) journal title volume and pages (for articles).

A summary of approximately 350 words and biographical information (35 words or less) about the author(s) should accompany the article. The article will be published in the original language and FAO will translate the summary into the other two languages of the review. Manuscripts must be typed and double spaced. When possible provision of a word processing diskette is appreciated Tables graphics and photographs should be provided on separate sheets with a title and number indicating their place in the text.

Manuscripts are reviewed by the Food Policy and Nutrition Division and the decision to publish an article is made by the Editorial Advisory Board Copyrights and other ownership rights are vested in the Food and Agriculture Organization which usually grants permission to the author to reproduce the article Authors should clearly state whether material included in a manuscript has been copyrighted elsewhere and certify that they have permission to use the material. When printed up to 25 copies of the issue containing the article will be sent to the author free of charge.

Correspondence and manuscripts should be addressed to Technical Editor, Food, Nutrition and Agriculture, Food Policy and Nutrition Division FAO Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 00100 Rome Italy

Principes à l'usage des auteurs

Alimentation nutrition et agriculture traite de domaines dans lesquels s'exercent les activités de la Division des politiques alimentaires et de la nutrition de la FAO - planification évaluation nutritionnelle programmes nutritionnels qualité et innocuité des aliments La revue accueille avec intérêt des articles pouvant intéresser ses lecteurs qui travaillent dans les institutions gouvernementales les universités et les centres de recherche les organisations non gouvernementales l'industrie alimentaire et les médias de 148 pays.

Les articles peuvent être écrits en français en anglais ou en espagnol. Ils doivent être rédiges dans un style clair et concis faciles a comprendre éviter les termes journalistiques les expressions familières et le jargon professionnel lis doivent avoir une longueur de 2500 a 5 000 mots plus un nombre raisonnable de tableaux et de références (pas plus de 6 et moins de 35 respectivement). Des notes complètes doivent être ajoutées si des références factuelles et d autres points de vue sont mentionnes. Lorsque des ouvrages sont cites il faut indiquer le nom du ou des auteurs la date le titre complet l'éditeur et le lieu de publication. Pour les articles cites donner le nom du ou des auteurs la date le titre de l'article le titre complet de la publication le volume et les pages.

Un résume d'environ 350 mots et une notice biographique de 35 mots au maximum doivent accompagner l'article. Il sera publie dans la langue originale et la FAO traduira le résume dans les deux autres langues de la revue. Les manuscrits doivent être dactylographies en double interligne. Dans la mesure du possible les auteurs sont pries de fournir une disquette. Les tableaux graphiques et photographies doivent être fournis sur des feuilles séparées porter un titre et être numérotes de façon a pouvoir les insérer dans le texte.

Les manuscrits sont examines par la Division des politiques alimentaires et de la nutrition et la décision de les publier est prise par le comité de rédaction. Les droits d auteur et autres droits relatifs au manuscrit sont dévolus á l'Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture qui autorise habituellement l'auteur á reproduire son article. L'auteur doit indiquer clairement les parties du manuscrit qui font déjà l'objet de droits d'auteur ou autres droits de propriété et certifier qu'il est autorise a les utiliser Lorsque l'article est publié 25 exemplaires au maximum du numéro en question sont envoyés gratuitement a l'auteur.

La correspondance et les manuscrits sont a adresser au Rédacteur technique Alimentation nutrition et agriculture Division des politiques alimentaires et de la nutrition FAO Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 00100 Rome (Italie).

Orientaciones para los autores

La revista Alimentación Nutrición y Agricultura trata temas de interés para la Dirección de Política Alimentaria y Nutrición de la FAO incluyendo actividades de planificación apreciación y evaluación relacionadas con la nutrición programas de nutrición y calidad e inocuidad de los alimentos. La revista acepta artículos de interés para sus lectores que trabajan en instituciones gubernamentales universidades y centros de investigación organizaciones no gubernamentales así como en la industria alimentaria y en los medios de comunicación de 148 países.

Los manuscritos podrán ser redactados en español francés o ingles. El estilo deberá ser claro conciso y fácil de entender evitando términos periodísticos expresiones coloquio les y jergas profesionales Los artículos podrán tener de 2 500 a 5 000 palabras y se recomienda un máximo de seis cuadros y 35 referencias. Deberán facilitarse referencias completas cuando se den datos objetivos o se citen puntos de vista de otros autores en el caso de libros se deberá indicar el apellido y la inicial del nombre del autor o autores el ano de publicación el titulo completo el lugar de publicación y la editorial. En el caso de artículos autor(es) ano titulo del articulo titulo completo de la publicación volumen y numero de las paginas.

El articulo ira acompañado de un resumen de 350 palabras aproximadamente y de una nota biográfica (que no exceda de 35 palabras) sobre el autor Se publicara en el idioma original y la FAO traducirá el resumen a los otros dos idiomas de la revista. Los manuscritos deberán estar mecanografiados a doble espacio Se agradecerá el envío siempre que sea posible de un disquete que contenga el articulo Los cuadros gráficos y fotografías deberán presentarse en hojas aparte con un titulo y numero e indicando su lugar en el texto.

Los manuscritos serán revisados por la Dirección de Política Alimentaria y Nutrición de la FAO y la decisión concerniente a su publicación la tomara el Comité asesor editorial. Los derechos de propiedad y otros derechos de autor corresponderán a la FAO que suele conceder permiso al autor para reproducir su articulo. Los autores deberán indicar claramente que material del manuscrito tiene ya derechos de autor concedidos y certificar que han obtenido el permiso para utilizarlo. Una vez publicado el articulo se enviaran gratuitamente al autor 25 ejemplares del número de la revista que lo contiene.

La correspondencia y los manuscritos deberán dirigirse a Redactor técnico Alimentación Nutrición y Agricultura Dirección de Política Alimentación y Nutrición FAO Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 00100 Roma Italia.