(More information: Global Food Systems)
Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, reducing maternal and child mortality, and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are dependent on successfully addressing nutrition. Undernutrition is the underlying cause of 3.5 million child deaths per year and 11% of the global disease burden, as well as roughly one-third of the burden of disease for children. Micronutrient deficiencies undermine the health and productivity of over two billion people worldwide. This crisis requires a well-crafted response from local farmers, international health workers, and the global food industry.
CGHED’s nutrition program brings together leading global health and international development academics based at Columbia University, as well as expert groups working on international nutrition issues. Research themes include maternal and newborn health, malnutrition and infectious disease, food and nutrition security, and linking agriculture diversity, environment, industry and water with nutrition. Through collaborations with African and Asian counterparts, research results are shared to contribute to the knowledge and improvement of health in urban and rural settings across the world.
Nutrition and Food Security in the Millennium Villages:
In the Millennium Villages Project, the major nutrition objectives are to assist communities in eliminating hunger, increase nutrition security, and achieve the nutrition-related Millennium Development Goals. It is being achieved through innovative solutions, which are integrated and scalable.
1. Strengthening cross-sectoral operation-oriented research for nutrition, examples include:
2. Identifying determinants, drivers of change and emerging risk factors for nutritional security.
3. Enhancing cross-sectoral science-based planning and decision-making for nutrition programs, examples include:
4. Building and strengthening implementation systems for nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions. The MVP nutrition implementation strategy is cross-sectoral in nature, aims to address the multiple underlying determinants of malnutrition (see Figure) and has three main delivery systems: health facility-based programs, community-based programs and school-based programs. Example of implementation programs include:
The Millennium Villages and the World Food Programme:
World Food Programme (WFP) and the Millennium Villages Project are partnering to end child hunger by creating “undernourishment-free zones.” The partnership applies coordinated, science-based best practices in nutrition and food security to demonstrate rapid progress across a range of established field sites in Africa. With the strategic leadership of WFP, the Millennium Villages Project can demonstrate quickly what works, through implementation research and rigorous monitoring and evaluation. CGHED’s nutrition experts and the MVP team work closely with the WFP to ensure the nutrition and food security successes of the partnership are translated into advocacy for scale-up at country, regional and global levels.
The Global Food Systems Initiative (GFSI) works towards a common goal of a sustainable global food system that is secure, equitable, feasible, healthy and environmentally sustainable for all human beings across the globe. Working in partnership with the Earth Institute’s Tropical Agriculture Program, CGHED combines a cooperative, multi-disciplinary approach across key sectors in which leading academics engage in a global dialogue on issues of food agriculture, nutrition and food security.
The hallmark of this initiative is the cooperative, multi-disciplinary approach employed to engage leading researchers and development practitioners at Columbia University in a global dialogue with farmers, consumers, industry and business leaders, nutritionists, chefs, ecologists, environmentalists, agronomists, international development workers, economists, rural sociologists, and policy makers. The resulting synergies inform approaches toward a sustainable global food system that is secure, equitable, feasible, healthy and environmentally sustainable for all human beings across the globe. The mission will extend beyond the roots of science and academia to ensure durable and resilient development and appropriate policy change. GFSI has global representation across Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe.
Please contact Roseline Remans with inquiries regarding Nutrition and Food System programs at the Earth Institute.