Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Nutrition for Growth (N4G) commitment

Reported progress


London 2013

1. Strengthen its approach to enhancing nutrition in all aspects of its work, including strengthening nutrition-specific activities and emphasizing nutrition-sensitive approaches in agriculture, fisheries, forestry, and natural resources.

2. Locate additional staff resources outside headquarters to be better able to respond to country needs.

3. From 2014 onward, monitor and report nutrition-related outcomes and targets against FAO’s new strategic-level objective: Contribute to the eradication of hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition. FAO commits to approve provisional targets to monitor achievement of this objective, including the percentage of countries with medium-to-high or high stunting prevalence (16 in Africa) that have improved their evidence-based process to formulate, implement, monitor, and evaluate policies and programs, increasing to 50% by 2015 and 100% by 2017.

4. Improve the measurement of food insecurity, hunger, and malnutrition, including through broadening the basis of measurement to include other dimensions of malnutrition.

5. Continue to support countries in adopting evidence-based nutrition programs, sharing experiences, and consensus building through the process leading up to and beyond the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) in 2014.

6. Mobilize the UN System, through the UN System High-Level Task Force on Global Food Security, to meet the goals of the UN secretary-general’s Zero-Hunger Challenge (ZHC) announced at the Rio summit last year.

Reported progress

1. FAO continues to place nutrition high on its agenda. FAO is updating its Nutrition Strategy and this will be based on a food systems for healthy diets approach. The Strategy will be reviewed by all of the FAO Technical Committees Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, and Commodities and Trade. Additionally, FAO has developed a nutrition marker to be applied to all of FAO's funded projects to assess the nutrition sensitivity of all its projects.

2. The ongoing mobility exercise continues to move nutrition officers from headquarters to the regions to support country capacity building.

3. FAO continues to cover nutrition-relevant topics in its flagship publication The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI). SOFI 2020 is going to cover the Cost of Healthy and Sustainable Diets. FAO is a member of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) Open-ended Working Group that is developing the Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems for Nutrition.

4. FAO developed and encouraged its members to use the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES) to get disaggregated data on moderate and severe food insecurity. FAO is promoting the use of the Minimum Dietary Diversity Scale for Women (MDDW) as a diet quality indicator. FAO is supporting several countries to collect MDDW data. Also, FAO is developing the Global Individual Food Consumption Data Tool (FAO/WHO GIFT), which will provide disaggregated data on food consumption. FAO is the custodian for the food loss indicator for SDG 12.3. FAO has developed a food loss methodology that countries can use to report on food losses.

5. FAO, through an expert consultation jointly organized with WHO, has developed Guiding Principles on Sustainable Healthy Diets that can be adopted and indicated by countries. FAO continues to support countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, to develop Food-Based Dietary Guidelines as a means to promote healthy diets. Data collection on the Individual Food Consumption Study is ongoing.

6. FAO is supporting the establishment of the new entity UN Nutrition resulting from the merger of the United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) and the UN Network for Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) into one secretariat. This will enable better coordination of UN nutrition work and better governance for nutrition at global and country levels.

On course
Basis of assessment

At least half of the individual commitment components are assessed to be on course