Afghanistan | Events | National consultation workshop tackles nutrition challenges for Afghanistan

National consultation workshop tackles nutrition challenges for Afghanistan

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WHO Representative Dr Peeperkorn delivers a speech at the workshopWHO Representative Dr Peeperkorn delivers a speech at the workshopKabul 2 February 2016 – The Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, in collaboration with WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), conducted a joint consultation workshop on the recommendations of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2). Participants will review global ICN2 recommendations, identify feasible nutrition goals for Afghanistan and promote linkages between health and food systems.

ICN2 was convened in November 2014 as a high-level meeting in Rome, Italy, focusing the global attention on addressing malnutrition in all its forms.

“Today we review and prioritize the recommendations of ICN2 so that each entity can prepare their work plan to address the recommendations which can be implemented with the support of WHO, FAO and other partners,” said Deputy Minister of Public Health Dr Najia Tariq.

Nutrition is a major public health challenge in Afghanistan. According to the 2013 National Nutrition Survey, 24.6% of children under 5 years of age are underweight and 45% suffer from anemia. Stunting, or low height for age, prevalence is 4% while wasting (low weight for height) prevalence is 9%. Over 50% of children suffer from vitamin A deficiency.

“Afghanistan is faced with a huge burden of undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies,” said WHO Country Representative Dr Richard Peeperkorn. “WHO remains committed to working with the Government of Afghanistan to improve nutrition status for all by supporting strategy and policy development and further strengthening the national nutrition surveillance system to eliminate all forms of acute and chronic malnutrition.”

Workshop participantsWorkshop participants“The recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals point to a vision and need for a fairer, more prosperous and sustainable world where no one is left behind. FAO recognizes that without rapid progress to reduce and eliminate hunger and malnutrition by 2030, the full range of SDGs cannot be achieved,” said Mr Tomio Shichiri, FAO representative in Afghanistan.

Experts from both Ministries, together with WHO and FAO, will generate a plan of action as a result of the one-day consultation workshop to guide the Government’s policy and actions on nutrition, health and food security.

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Key health-related statistics

Population (m) 29.7
Health expenditure (% of GDP) 9.5
Adult (15+) literacy rate (%) 34.8
Life expectancy at birth F/M (2010) 63.2-63.6

Sources: Central Statistics office, Afghanistan National health Accounts, Afghanistan Living Conditions Survey, Afghanistan mortality survey. 

Framework for health information systems and core indicators for monitoring health situation and health system performance, 2018

Afghanistan country health profile

Regional Health Observatory

WHO Afghanistan Programme Overview 

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