Food and Nutrition Security in South Asia

How deeply troubling is the food and nutrition security issue to South Asians & where are policymakers going with that agenda?

In South Asia, food security is a major issue. When you take a look at the population diaspora in the continent, many have to grapple with regular hunger; in fact, it is the biggest percentage in the globe. SAFANSI (South Asia Food and Nutrition Security Initiative) from the World Bank aims to battle the rising tide of malnutrition amongst economic growth acting as a surplus.

With support from the European Commission, DFID and DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia), stakeholders can actively seek out means to guarantee food and nutrition domestically. DFAT and the Government of Australia have pioneered a nutrition movement from this, called SUNITA (Scaling Up Nutrition Initiative Technical Assistance) in Nepal, that funds analysis, interventions, and operational support for filling in for absence of nutrition in diets.

The whole SAFANSI task is dependent on food and nutrition policy, particularly on those leading figures involved in policy work for South Asia to address the first Millennium Development Goal. The first goal highlights that termination of “extreme poverty and hunger” should be a priority and if you can ensure food security can be maximized for the population diaspora, then that would mean more people enjoying healthier lives because of better access to nutrition.

What I liked about this approach was the interest in programming knowledge to inform, to predict trends and curate the best ideas for effective policy work in the region. The nature of the trust fund is such that it wants to concentrate on establishing food and nutrition security in the community and household domains, by prioritizing agricultural productivity in South Asia.

Some good examples of their work include a Nutrition Action Framework (Afghanistan), developing an Integrated Nutrition Strategy (Pakistan), a food report (Nepal) – made possible because of a diverse range of bodies from the World Bank to the Nepal National Planning Commission and placing food and nutrition in the mainframe of the present Five Year Plan (Bangladesh).

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