This section contains a list of organizations working to improve nutrition at the international level.
Good nutrition is a key factor in reducing hunger and poverty, increasing life expectancy, improving maternal health and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. Conversely, the global crisis of malnutrition is associated with over 50 percent of all child mortality. Information on the world nutritional situation is available from the websites below.
International and Regional Organizations
The Alliance for People’s Action on Nutrition (APAN)
APAN is an alliance of civil society organizations and networks launched in 2003. The World Social Forum’s commitment to build a different society — “Another World is Possible” — is key to APAN’s mission. The people’s organizations and international networks within APAN are active in many areas: these include food and nutrition generally, breastfeeding, nutrition of women and children, agrarian reform and access to productive resources, peasant and small farmers’ agriculture, food and nutrition security, public health and trade. APAN’s website is under construction.
FAO Nutrition and Consumber Protection Division
The Nutrition and Consumer Protection Division of FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) of the United Nations aims to create sustainable improvements in nutrition, especially among nutritionally vulnerable households and population groups. It seeks to raise awareness of the benefits of combating hunger and reducing malnutrition, and to assist countries in identifying people who are food insecure and vulnerable to nutritional problems. Promoting food safety and prevention of food borne diseases are central tasks, in addition to consumer protection and fair practices in food trade.
FoodFirst Information and Action Network (FIAN)
A human rights organization fighting for the right to feed oneself, with members in all parts of the world. There is enough food for everyone, now and in the future. FIAN International defends the right of ordinary people to feed themselves in dignity.
International Baby-Food Action Network (IBFAN)
IBFAN consists of public interest groups working around the world to reduce infant and young child morbidity and mortality. IBFAN aims to improve the health and well-being of babies and young children, their mothers and their families through the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding and optimal infant feeding practices.
The People’s Health Movement
The People’s Health Movement is a growing coalition of people’s organizations, civil society organizations, NGOs, social activists, health professionals, academics and researchers that endorse the People’s Charter for Health. Its goal is to re-establish health and equitable development as top priorities in local, national and international policy-making with comprehensive primary health care as the strategy to achieve these priorities.
United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition (SCN)
The SCN is a global forum within the U.N. system for the discussion of nutrition issues. Its membership includes U.N.agencies dealing with food, health and development, as well as research and donor agencies and nongovernmental organizations. SCN is central to the inclusion of the human rights approach to food and nutrition in the U.N. Agenda. Its mandate is to raise awareness of nutrition problems and mobilize commitment to solve them at global, regional and national levels.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)’s Nutritional Program
UNICEF’s nutritional program is central to its focus on child survival, growth, development and early learning. Proper nutrition benefits families and their communities, while malnutrition plays a part in more than half of all child deaths worldwide, perpetuates poverty, blunts the intellect and saps productivity. A family’s nutritional security depends not only on wholesome food, but also on food storage, preparation and feeding, micronutrients, basic health services, safe water, sanitation and good hygiene, as well as breastfeeding.
World Health Organization (WHO)
WHO is the United Nations’ specialized agency for health, which is defined in WHO’s Constitution as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. WHO’s yearly World Health Report assesses the global health situation. The relation of nutrition to health and disease figures prominently in the report.