Building climate-sensitive nutrition programmes
The food system and climate are closely interconnected. Although most research has focused on the need to adopt a plant-based diet to help mitigate climate change, there is also an urgent need to examine the effects of climate change on food systems to adapt to climate change. A systems approach can help identify the pathways through which climate influences food systems, thereby ensuring that programmes combating malnutrition take climate into account. Although little is known about how climate considerations are currently incorporated into nutrition programming, climate information services have the potential to help target the delivery of interventions for at-risk populations and reduce climate-related disruption during their implementation. To ensure climate services provide timely information relevant to nutrition programmes, it is important to fill gaps in our knowledge about the influence of climate variability on food supply chains. A proposed roadmap for developing climate-sensitive nutrition programmes recommends: (i) research aimed at achieving a better understanding of the pathways through which climate influences diet and nutrition, including any time lags; (ii) the identification of entry points for climate information into the decision-making process for nutrition programme delivery; and (iii) capacity-building and training programmes to better equip public health practitioners with the knowledge, confidence and motivation to incorporate climate resilience into nutrition programmes. With sustained investment in capacity-building, data collection and analysis, climate information services can be developed to provide the data, analyses and forecasts needed to ensure nutrition programmes target their interventions where and when they are most needed.
Nissan, Hannah, Simmons, Will & Downs, Shauna M. (2022). Building climate-sensitive nutrition programmes. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 100 (1), 70 – 77. World Health Organization. http://dx.doi.org/10.2471/BLT.21.285589