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    Nutrition and crises.

    Marchione T

    In: Nutrition: a foundation for development, compiled by United Nations. Administrative Committee on Coordination [ACC]. Sub-Committee on Nutrition [SCN]. Geneva, Switzerland, United Nations, Administrative Committee on Coordination [ACC], Sub-Committee on Nutrition [SCN], 2002. 4 p.. (Nutrition: a Foundation for Development, Brief 9)

    In the past 15 years food insecurity, malnutrition, and disinvestments in health systems have contributed to increasing national crises and made countries more vulnerable to systemic shocks. Over this period the world has experienced an alarming increase in costly humanitarian disasters that have tragically affected millions of people each year. Shocks have included violent internal conflicts; natural traumas such as droughts and hurricanes; economic shocks; and the surging HIV/AIDS epidemic. The greatest numbers of affected people have been those uprooted by war and natural disasters, which doubled from 20 million in 1985 to 40 million in 1994 and remained over 35 million in 1999, and those living with HIV/AIDS, which increased from only a few million in the early 1980s to 34 million in 2000. Besides causing terrible suffering and death, these crises have caused many developing countries to suffer serious economic and food production setbacks. Global expenditures for humanitarian crisis interventions have grown while official development investment has stagnated or declined, adding to the drag on development. For instance, from 1985 to 2000 the World Food Programme shifted the balance of its program toward emergency response and away from sustainable development of food security and nutrition. It is now time to invest in nutrition as a tool for crisis prevention, mitigation, and management for three reasons: 1. Good nutrition relieves the social unrest underlying violent conflict; 2. Good nutrition decreases the human vulnerability that transforms systemic shocks into humanitarian disasters; and 3. Good nutrition lowers the death rate and promotes timely return to equitable and durable development in the aftermath of crises. (excerpt)
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