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On World Food Day, WFP Says Investment in Nutrition is Key to Unlocking A Better Future

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is marking World Food Day on 16 October by highlighting the power of nutrition to transform individuals, societies and economies, and the need to make it central to all development efforts. If the global community invested US$1.2 billion per year for five years on reducing micronutrient deficiencies, the benefits in better health, fewer child deaths and increased future earnings would generate gains worth US$15.3 billion.

ROME/JAKARTA - The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is marking World Food Day on 16 October by highlighting the power of nutrition to transform individuals, societies and economies, and the need to make it central to all development efforts. 

“Undernourished girls and boys face barriers in health, in school performance and later, in the workplace, which limit their human potential and their capacity to contribute to the societies in which they live,” said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin. 

“Prioritising nutrition today is an investment in our collective global future.  The investment must involve food, agriculture, health and education systems,” she said.

Today some 842 million people - more than one in eight people in the world – suffer from chronic hunger. Yet even more – around two billion people - lack the vitamins and minerals needed to live healthy lives. 

If the global community invested US$1.2 billion per year for five years on reducing micronutrient deficiencies, the benefits in better health, fewer child deaths and increased future earnings would generate gains worth US$15.3 billion.

“Here in Indonesia, the Government has taken concrete actions through the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement (SUN) to ensure better nutrition for Indonesian children and mothers. As an active member of the SUN movement, WFP is firmly committed to these goals and actions,” said WFP Representative, Myrta Kaulard.

“WFP is working with the Government and private sector to make nutritious and affordable foods available in the market and accessible for all communities,” she said.

The theme of this year’s World Food Day is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition.”  Providing food assistance to 97 million people worldwide, here are some of the ways WFP focuses on nutrition:

  • Rapidly increasing the number of children and new mothers who receive new nutritionally enhanced food products.
  • Focusing on the crucial 1,000 day window - from the womb to two years of age – where getting sufficient nutrients and calories is crucial for full growth.
  • Stepping up assistance through cash and vouchers when food is available in markets, so consumers can buy more fresh and varied local foods.
  • Emphasising dietary diversity and fresh foods in its school feeding programmes, by working with local communities and farmers.
  • Working with private partners and research institutes to assess the nutritional impact of providing fortified rice in school meals Supporting the creation of a solid evidence base to guide countries in their nutrition policies and strategies, such as the recent Cost of Hunger in Africa survey
  • Working with the Indonesian Ministry of Health and local academics to develop a study on the “Minimum Cost of a Nutritious Diet” to identify the economic constraints faced by poor families trying to achieve a nutritionally appropriate diet.

To know more about WFP’s nutrition work in Indonesia, visit our dedicated country page: http://wfp.org/countries/indonesia 

WFP celebrates World Food Day with its sister UN food agencies, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).  

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Download video footage and shotlist here l Photos available here 

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Last year, WFP reached more than 97 million people in 80 countries with food assistance.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media @wfp  and @wfpindonesia

For more information please contact: clara.damayanthi@wfp.org 
Clara Damayanthi, WFP/Indonesia, Tel. +62 21 570 9004 ext. 2110, Mob. + 62811-166-1657