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Rome: Ireland in leading role at global nutrition conference

Budget/funding, Hunger, News/feature, Ireland, 2014
Ireland in leading role at global nutrition conference

Improving global nutrition is a key factor for development

Ireland played a leading role at the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), an inter-governmental meeting held in Rome from November 19th to 21st. The ICN2’s focus was to keep nutrition high on international and national development agendas.

ICN2, attended by representatives from 190 countries, was jointly organised by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the UN World Health Organization, and was a follow up to the first conference, held in 1994.

Minister of Health Leo Varadkar led Ireland's delegation for the ICN2 conference, where he reflected on: Ireland's work to stabilise childhood obesity through the ‘Healthy Ireland’ initiative; ongoing efforts in Ireland to sustainably produce safe, nutritious food; and Ireland’s leadership and investment in nutrition through the Irish Aid programme.

Ireland plays a leading role in improving nutrition worldwide

On November 20th, Minister Varadkar also opened a side event co-hosted by Ireland on ‘Accelerating Progress to End Malnutrition: Action, Results and Accountability’. The event was attended by the governments of Brazil, Canada, Ireland and the US, as well as the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Save the Children, 1,000 Days and the Pan American Alliance for Nutrition and Development.

Ireland part funded the inaugural Global Nutrition Report, which was launched officially on November 20th, alongside the 2014 Global Hunger Index. The launch event showcased the main findings of the Global Nutrition Report and the Global Hunger Index, and highlighted key data on the state of the world’s hunger and nutrition.

The Global Nutrition Report highlighted that “people with good nutrition are key to sustainable development” through the promotion of individual resilience in the face of shocks and uncertainties generated by climate change and extreme price fluctuations.

The Global Hunger Index demonstrates that although progress is being made, much of Africa south of the Sahara contains hotspots where hunger is high. 10 of the 14 countries with an “alarming” score are in Africa south of the Sahara; the two countries with “extremely alarming” scores—Burundi and Eritrea—are also in Africa.