Myanmar and FAO join to improve nutrition and food security

teddy bear 1807560 640The government of Myanmar and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have signed a multi-year framework agreement to improve nutrition and food security in Myanmar while safeguarding and sustainably managing the use of natural resources

The launch of the Country Programming Framework (CPF) follows intensive consultations and agreements with the Ministry of Planning and Finance and relevant line ministries, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), the private sector and other development partners.

Specifically, the CPF intends to help the government achieve three primary goals. The first is enhanced food security, nutrition and food safety. The second is strengthened governance and sustainable management of land, forests, water resources and ecosystems. The third relates to enhanced resilience of local communities and farming households to natural and humanitarian disasters, climate change and transboundary and emerging infectious disease risks.

Advances made in food security and nutrition

In spite of having reached a state of self-sufficiency in staple foods, food insecurity, particularly seasonal food insecurity, remains a concern across Myanmar, which risks being worsened due to climate and weather-related shocks and instances of social instability.

Myanmar had experienced a rapid decline in malnutrition figures in just a few decades. The prevalence of stunting among children below the age of five was reduced from around 40 per cent in the 1990’s to less than 30 per cent in 2016 but the improvements have since slowed.

“With nearly one child in three stunted much work remains to be done for Myanmar to achieve SDG-2, the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger by 2030,” said Kundhavi Kadiresan, assistant director-general and regional representative of FAO for Asia and the Pacific.

The agriculture sector has a major role to play in addressing these sustained rates of food insecurity and malnutrition through agricultural diversification and rural income generation. FAO is ready to do its part to help, Kadiresan added.

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