Nutrition is central to health and wellbeing, and the distribution and availability of food is a critical risk factor for nutrition insecurity and malnutrition on a global level. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing health inequities and food insecurity, particularly for lower socioeconomic groups, older populations, those living with underlying health conditions and for individuals living in rural and remote communities. That might have caused a further challenge threatening the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 of the FAO Strategic Programme 1 (SP1) to end hunger and achieve food security, improved nutrition and sustainable agriculture.
Food insecurity is defined by the FAO as the lack of regular access to adequate nutritious food needed for growth, development and the attainment an active healthy life. The latest FAO report indicates food and nutrition insecurity is exacerbated by poverty and high levels of inequity, affecting the nutrition status of millions of people and leading to different forms of malnutrition around the world. Recent research sheds light on the need to address the underlying drivers of food insecurity, such as agricultural and environmental practices to social and health policies, in order to ensure equitable access to adequate, safe and nutritious food globally. Multisectoral, co-ordinated and courageous efforts are essential to address nutrition and food insecurity, such as the growing need for emergency food systems.
Acknowledging the global impact of food security on nutrition and health, the NNEdPro Global Centre have identified the need for evidence curation and translation of knowledge to inform policy and practice. In a joint initiative developed by the NNEdPro Global Centre and LGC, The International Knowledge Application Hub in Nutrition 2025 (iKANN) seeks to synthesise global evidence in food, nutrition and health, to improve the nutrition capacity of the workforce and to drive the implementation of evidence into policy and practice settings. Amongst others, a key function of iKANN include open access thematic evidence collections, which provide timely access to a body of information. In addition, each evidence collection features a discussion forum, whereby users can contribute to discussion around the evidence and collaborate with others.
An evidence collection on food insecurity will be curated to shed light on the global prevalence of food and nutrition insecurity and support the implementation of the SDGs. In addition, links to potential drivers will be highlighted, including the increasing demand, the necessity to meet the needs of specific groups, awareness to and effectiveness of food supply chains, and concerns over sustainability in light of climate variability, conflicts and economic slowdowns. iKANN serves to facilitate collaboration between different stakeholders and provide algorithms to highlight the impacts of food and nutrition insecurity worldwide. Curated data could be adapted on a regional scale to support decision making and policy interventions, which we anticipate will have a downstream impact on health outcomes for individuals and the community.
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WHY SUPPORT IKANN?
Openness is critical to the advancement of human knowledge. iKANN aims to provide open access to curated research and data for public good. As nutrition is lateral to social and economic development, investments into iKANN are a commitment to collaborative efforts to improve the health and well-being of populations.
Funding is vital to ensure continued open access to iKANN and the further development of key features and thematic collections. With a continually growing international members base, supported by the regional networks of the NNEdPro Global Centre for Nutrition and Health, iKANN has the potential to drive collaborative change and enhance the uptake of evidence into policy and practice on a global scale.
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