UN brief calls for access to affordable, nutritious food

United Nations
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AMMAN  — The UN released the “Healthy Diet for all in Jordan” policy brief on Thursday recommending the Kingdom adopt policies to ensure it transitions towards sustainable food systems to deliver healthy diets for all, according to a statement released by the UN.اضافة اعلان

According to the policy brief, Jordan has ratified the UN Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, adopted a National Strategy for School Health 2018-2022 and the National Food Security Strategy 2021-2030, and will be developing a national nutrition strategy soon.

The UN said the Global Nutrition Report 2020 showed that Jordan suffers from a “double burden” of micronutrient deficiencies and overweight/obesity issues, with women presenting the worst rates in both instances. The report also pointed to a serious gender gap in nutrition.

Eighty-four percent of adult Jordanians and Syrians aged 18 to 69 years consume unhealthy diets, less than the WHO recommended daily intake of fruits or vegetables. Anemia shows a 34 percent prevalence among children and women of reproductive age, and breastfeeding rates are low with just 25.4 percent of infants aged zero to five months exclusively breastfed.

For the food systems to deliver safe, sustainable, healthy and affordable food, the UN recommends Jordan ensure: food availability, food accessibility, and food adequacy.

Food availability requires that food should be available from natural resources through land cultivation and animal husbandry, and that food processing for local products is enhanced and made available in markets and shops
Food accessibility requires guaranteeing economic and physical access to food. Food must be affordable. Individuals should be able to afford food for an adequate diet without compromising on any other basic needs, such as school fees, medicines or rent. Food adequacy means that the food must satisfy dietary needs, take into account the individual’s age, living conditions, health, occupation, sex and other factors.

To achieve these recommendations, Jordan could consider the following measures the statement said: adopt agroecological practices more vigorously, find the resources to put in place universal social protection programs including for women, regulate the marketing of foods high in saturated fats, trans fats, salt and sugar to children, reduce salt, sugar and trans fats in food made locally, implement mandatory food labeling standards, develop a national nutrition strategy, and provide balanced school meals among others.
The launch of the policy brief coincided with the UN Global Food Summit that took place Thursday (today) in New York.

The Summit aims at maximising the co-benefits of a food systems approach across the entire 2030 Agenda and meeting the challenges of climate change.
Ahead of the summit, the Ministry of Agriculture in Jordan in collaboration with the UN conducted national consultations with the concerned stakeholders and submitted a report on results of the consultations to the summit.

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