Dr. Abdelhakim El-Waer, Regional Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), said that for the first time such a framework is signed in the Near East and North Africa region, to work with private companies to support child nutrition, which is in accordance with a new strategy of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, to work To involve the private sector in development efforts in order to achieve development goals.
This came during the signing of a framework of cooperation and coordination with an international company, with the aim of increasing nutritional awareness and promoting healthy habits among children throughout Egypt.
The UN official explained that there are common goals with regard to promoting healthy nutrition and helping to combat malnutrition issues, pointing out that children who suffer from undernourishment are usually more vulnerable than others to contracting infectious diseases, and their mental development is at risk, which hinders their academic achievement. Hence, it reduces their chances of getting jobs and earning income in the future.
The UN official pointed out that the private sector can provide support through innovation and technology adaptation and transfer, by investing in research and skills development to respond to the needs of farmers, in addition to its role in disseminating knowledge, data and scientific innovation to increase sustainable food production and enable the most vulnerable people to access food.
With more than three months since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, the disruption of imports due to the conflict is leading to food shortages amid soaring prices of basic commodities, including wheat, edible oils and fuel, and the number of children suffering from Malnutrition will increase sharply, if this situation continues for a longer period, which will greatly affect children, coinciding with the threats of the emerging epidemic of the Corona virus (Covid 19), which has threatened human life for more than two years, adding that the Russian-Ukrainian war posed a threat important for food security and food supply in many countries of the world. It also affected the economies of many countries, which further complicated the challenge of achieving sustainable development goals in general.
The UN official added that this comes with many challenges, such as climate change, environmental sustainability and rapid technological transformations, pointing out that there are 141 million people at risk of food insecurity in the region.