'UN agencies warn economic impact of COVID-19 and worsening inequalities will fuel malnutrition for billions in Asia and the Pacific - Child and maternal diets particularly vulnerable'
Dear HIFA and CHIFA (child health),
This Press release from WHO SEARO/WPRO grimly predicts that COVID-19 will impact the nutrition of nearly two billion people in Asia and the Pacific. As always, those who are vulnerable are disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
'Mainstreaming nutrition-focused behaviour change campaigns throughout these systems should lead to greater knowledge uptake and sustainability of behaviours helping people to achieve healthy diets.'
Extracts below. Full text here: https://www.who.int/southeastasia/news/detail/20-01-2021-un-agencies-war...
20 January 2021 News release SEARO
Bangkok, Thailand - The economic impact of COVID-19 on the world’s most populous region is threatening to further undermine efforts to improve diets and nutrition of nearly two billion people in Asia and the Pacific who were already unable to afford healthy diets prior to the pandemic, says a new report published today by four specialized agencies of the United Nations.
The report found that 1.9 billion people were unable to afford a healthy diet, even before the COVID-19 outbreak and the damage it has since caused to economies and individual livelihoods.
Due to higher prices for fruits, vegetables and dairy products, it has become nearly impossible for poor people in Asia and the Pacific to achieve healthy diets, the affordability of which is critical to ensure food security and nutrition for all – and for mothers and children in particular.
Food prices and available incomes govern household decisions on food and dietary intake. But the outbreak of COVID-19 and a lack of decent work opportunities in many parts of the region, alongside significant uncertainty of food systems and markets, has led to a worsening of inequality, as poorer families with dwindling incomes further alter their diets to choose cheaper, less nutritious foods...
Mainstreaming nutrition-focused behaviour change campaigns throughout these systems should lead to greater knowledge uptake and sustainability of behaviours helping people to achieve healthy diets.
Education on what constitutes a healthy diet and how to create hygienic environments at home, in schools and in the community, together with investment in girl’s education and infrastructure that underlies good water, sanitation and hygiene practices, are critical...
The report, ‘Asia and the Pacific Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2020: Maternal and Child Diets at the Heart of Improving Nutrition’ launched today in Bangkok, is jointly published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Food Programme and the World Health Organization.
Best wishes, Neil
Coordinator, WHO-HIFA Collaboration: HIFA project on Essential Health Services and COVID-19
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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG email@example.com