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Hunger and Nutrition

Definition of Key Terms

Hunger is characterized in many ways. It encompasses individual sensations and household behavioral responses, food scarcity (actual or feared) and national food balance sheets that focus on supply of energy (kilocalories) in any country in relation to a minimum threshold of need. The food balance sheet approach is the only standard of measurement used globally. It is based on data collated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. This organization has replaced its previous use of the word “hunger” in describing this metric with the phrase “chronic undernourishment”. This today is defined as “a person’s inability to acquire enough food to meet daily minimum dietary energy requirements during 1 year”.

 

Malnutrition— an all-inclusive term that represents all manifestations of poor nutrition. It can mean any or all forms of under nutrition, overweight, and obesity.

 

Under nutrition—Refers to any form of nutritional deficiency, particularly those manifest in maternal underweight, child stunting, child wasting, or micronutrient deficiencies. It does not include reference to overweight and obesity.

 

Maternal underweight—A body mass index (BMI) of <18.5 among women of reproductive age. This typically reflects chronic energy deficiency coupled with a lack of other key macronutrients or micronutrients, ill health, or energy expenditure higher than consumption. A prevalence >20% indicates a serious public health problem.

 

Child stunting—Height for age ≤ −2 standard deviations of the median for children aged 6-59 months, according to World Health Organization child growth standards.

 

Child wasting—Weight for height ≤ −2 standard deviations of the median for children aged 6-59 months, according to WHO child growth standards.

 

Micronutrient deficiencies—A lack of various key vitamins and minerals leads to a range of symptoms that are of global concern. These include anaemia due to iron deficiency and risk of child mortality associated with clinical vitamin A deficiency. Such deficiencies are measured in several ways, including biomarkers (assessed using blood, serum, urine, etc.), clinical manifestations, or proxy measures of diet quality.

Overweight and obesity—For non-pregnant adults, a BMI ≥25 represents being overweight. The threshold for obesity is a BMI ≥30. Child obesity is of increasing concern and was included in the latest global nutrition goals for 2030 (“no increase in childhood obesity”).

 

Getting the Facts Right

According to statistics by the WFP, it is estimated that every day too many men and women across the globe struggle to feed their children a nutritious meal. In a world where we produce enough food to feed everyone, 821 million people – one in nine – still go to bed on an empty stomach each night. Even more – one in three – suffer from some form of malnutrition. Eradicating hunger and malnutrition is one of the great challenges of our time. Not only do the consequences of not enough – or the wrong – food cause suffering and poor health, they also slow progress in many other areas of development like education and employment.

 

In 2015 the global community adopted the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development to improve people’s lives by 2030. Goal 2 – Zero Hunger – pledges to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, and is the priority of the World Food Programme. The world has made great progress in reducing hunger: There are 216 million fewer hungry people than in 1990-92, despite a 1.9 billion increase in the world’s population. But there is still a long way to go, and no one organization can achieve Zero Hunger if it works alone. If we want to see a world free of hunger by 2030, governments, citizens, civil society organizations and the private sector must collaborate to invest, innovate and create lasting solutions.

 

Our Partnerships

 

 

Hunger Scenario in East Africa Region

 

Despite record food output globally, hunger is still a heavy challenge to bear in the east and horn of Africa region. SANREM AFRICA argues that key policy actions are urgently needed to tackle this scourge and must focus on improving diet quality for all.

 

Today’s world is characterized by the coexistence of agricultural bounty and widespread hunger and malnutrition. Recent years have seen a reversal of a decades old trend of falling hunger, alongside the re-emergence of famine. National and global evidence shows that ensuring an adequate food supply is still an important contribution to eradicating hunger. However, generating more food in the form of staple grains or tubers is not enough. Good nutrition and an end to hunger both require everyone to have an appropriate diet. How can that be achieved?

 

Kenya: Nearly 73,000 children in Kenya are severely malnourished and at risk of dying from drought-related hunger unless urgent aid is made immediately available. … In Turkana South, an unprecedented 12% of children under five now suffer from severe acute malnutrition.

 

Uganda: Malnutrition costs Uganda $899 million per year, in other words, 5.6 percent of its national income. Poor nutrition affects work productivity the most, reducing the physical capacities of the laborers. … Approximately 29 percent of children under the age of five are stunted, meaning they are too short for their ages.

 

Tanzania: Tanzania is an East African country that has a current population of more than 60 million. Although this country is known in part for its large agricultural sectors, it has continually faced food shortages and hunger crisis over the course of its existence. Hunger continually proves to be an ongoing battle and although there has been significant progress, poor nutrition remains a crucial development challenge for the country.

 

Ethiopia: Ethiopia loses around 16.5 percent of its GDP each year to the long-term effects of child malnutrition. Today, more than 2 out of every 5 children in Ethiopia suffer from stunting, which means they’re short for their age. Stunting is a lifelong condition that results when children miss out on critical nutrients while in the womb or during the first five years of their lives.

 

Characterizing the Problem

 

A recent report for the World Committee on Food Security argued that “malnutrition in all its forms—not only hunger, but also micronutrient deficiencies, as well as overweight and obesity—is … a critical challenge not only in the developing but also in the developed countries. Resolving malnutrition requires a better understanding of the determinants and processes that influence diets.” Malnutrition ranges from extreme hunger and under nutrition to obesity. Furthermore, malnutrition is found in all countries, irrespective of their economic development, where people lack high quality diets. Thus, solutions to hunger and to all forms of malnutrition need to focus on ensuring an adequate supply of food, but equally, on the quality of diets.

 

Our Activities in the Region

 

A. KENYA

  • Food for work programmes in parts of the ASAL counties in northern Kenya.
  • Micro irrigation projects in the drier ASAL regions of Kenya
  • Traditional crops programme and orphan crops programme
  • Post-harvest handling within smallholder farming community
  • Agricultural technology use and uptake programme
  • Livestock breeds improvement programme
  • Agricultural extension programme for resource poor farmers
  • Producer groups and agricultural cooperatives development and mobilization
  • Agroforestry and natural resources conservation programme
  • Traditional seeds multiplication and local seed baks programme
  • We work in 35 counties in Kenya including: Bungoma, Busia, Kakamega, Vihiga, Trans Nzoia, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Bomet, Narok, Kajiado, Kiambu, Nairobi, Nyeri, Muranga, Nyandarua, Machakos, kitui, Makueni, Meru, Isiolo, Taita Taveta, kilifi, amongst others.
  • We work in collaboration with national government, county governments, development partners, international and local NGOs and CBOs and producer groups and cooperatives.

 

B. UGANDA

  • Traditional crops programme and orphan crops programme
  • Post-harvest handling within smallholder farming community
  • Agricultural technology use and uptake programme
  • Livestock breeds improvement programme
  • Producer groups and agricultural cooperatives development and mobilization
  • Agroforestry and natural resources conservation programme
  • Traditional seeds multiplication and local seed baks programme
  • We work closely with government ministries and departments including research institutions and local community based organizations and international development partners.
  • Our operations are mainly based in Hoima and eastern Uganda bordering the Mount Elgon region.

 

C. TANZANIA

  • Traditional crops programme and orphan crops programme
  • Post-harvest handling within smallholder farming community
  • Agricultural technology use and uptake programme
  • Livestock breeds improvement programme
  • Producer groups and agricultural cooperatives development and mobilization
  • Agroforestry and natural resources conservation programme
  • Traditional seeds multiplication and local seed baks programme
  • We work closely with government ministries and departments including research institutions and local community based organizations and international development partners.
  • We work in several regions including: Lushoto, Dodoma and Morogoro

 

D. ETHIOPIA

  • Traditional crops programme and orphan crops programme
  • Post-harvest handling within smallholder farming community
  • Agricultural technology use and uptake programme
  • Livestock breeds improvement programme
  • Producer groups and agricultural cooperatives development and mobilization
  • Agroforestry and natural resources conservation programme
  • Traditional seeds multiplication and local seed baks programme
  • We work closely with government ministries and departments including research institutions and local community based organizations and international development partners.