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Expert Meeting on Challenges and Opportunities for Food and Nutritional Security in SICA Countries

21 July 2015|Event

According to the State of Food Security and Nutrition from FAO, WFP, and IFDA, Mexico and Central America have shown a trend towards hunger reduction. The region has achieved a decline in hunger from 12,6 million to 11,4 million persons from 1990 to 1992, according to the initial 2014-2016 estimate. This represents a decline in persons affected by hunger from 10,7% to 6,6% of the population in the timeframe of the analysis. In terms of fulfilling Millennium Development Goal 1C, the region has achieved 77% fulfillment (between 1990 and 2015 the proportion of people who suffer from hunger has been reduced by 50%). In the past two triennia, hunger reduction –in absolute terms—has stagnated, even when proportional hunger has gone down.

Behind hunger statistics, there are relevant underlying factors within the diverse activities of the food system, such as production, distribution, and consumption. At the same time, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean must not only face hunger, but also growing obesity and overweight creating what is called the “double burden of malnutrition”. Other imminent challenges for the availability, access, and utilization of food will be the efficiency and use of natural resources, humans, and investment, taking into account the growing frequency and intensity of extreme events and climate change scenarios.

The countries of the region have made known their commitment to value the human right to food by advancing the development of food security and nutrition institutions, policies, and programs. At the regional level, countries are seeking to join forces through presidential as well as ministerial mandates and declarations on the topic of SICA food security and nutrition, especially since 2002. Said mandates have resulted in important programs, strategies, and policies such as ERAS, ECADERT, PRSAN, the PRESANCA/PRESISAN program, food security and nutrition policies and activities within the scope of the CAC program, and regional institutions such as INCAP. Likewise, on the Latin American and Mesoamerican level there are initiatives such as the “Community of Latin American and Caribbean States Plan for Food Security and Nutrition and Hunger Eradication” within the scope of the CELAC 2025 Plan.

Given the negotiations to establish the Sustainable Development Goals and for a global agreement to face climate change within the scope of UNFCC, among others, the region seeks to reflect on the progress, challenges, and opportunities regarding its goals for healthy nourishment, as well as inclusive and sustainable food systems.

Meeting Objectives

  • Establish an area for common goals on food security and nutrition challenges and opportunities in SICA countries, with the purpose of honing the lines of action and cooperation within the scope of national policy, regional SICA policy, and the CELAC agenda.
  • Maintain a dialogue about the challenges and opportunities in food security and nutrition not only on the level of each of its four dimensions, but about the quality of the food system, in which points of resistance and bottle necks were examined, as well as positive experiences that may provide answers as to how to achieve more inclusive and sustainable food systems.
  • Open up a forum so that countries from the Central American Integration System may share the lessons they have learned with other countries in the region such as Mexico and take advantage of the lessons learned in each country about challenges and opportunities, as well as strengthening the availability, access, and biological utilization of healthy foods and its long-term stability.