GMP considerations in food and nutritional supplementary substances

From: “Pasteur Institute” Tehran 4 march 2013

Although the world produces enough food to feed its entire population, almost 1 billion children, men and women suffer from hunger around the globe
Every year, more than six million children die of complications due to malnutrition.
Every day, some 25,000 people, mainly children, die of malnutrition.
Globally, in 2011 some:

• 165 million children under-five years of age were stunted (too short for their age)
• more than 90% of the world’s stunted children live in Africa and Asia
• 101 million children under-five years of age were underweight (low weight in comparison to age)
• 52 million children under-five years of age were wasted (low weight in comparison to height)
• 70% of the world’s wasted children live in Asia

The Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement has been dealing with such a global issue since 1952.
In 1986 the Resolution XVIII adopted by the 25th International Conference, also recalling that malnutrition is often one of the major problems identified during Health assessment following emergencies, set out a “Nutrition and Food Donation Policy in Emergency Operations” which:

1. recommends that all Red Cross and Red Crescent nutritional programmes be integrated into the general health programme adapted specifically to each emergency operation,
2. recommends that any Red Cross and Red Crescent nutritional response, including food distribution, be undertaken within the framework of a clearly established Red Cross and Red Crescent nutritional programme which is effectively planned, monitored and evaluated,
3. urges that all nutritional programmes of the ICRC, the League and National Societies be developed in accordance with the Nutrition and food donation policy in Red Cross and Red Crescent emergency operations and be established under the guidance of nutritionists,
4. recommends that each government participating in food distribution and other nutritional activities through ICRC/League emergency operations, or on a bilateral basis with a National Society, take full account of the Nutrition and food donation policy in Red Cross and Red Crescent emergency operations.

In 1997, with the adoption of its Food Security and Nutrition Policy, Nutrition and Food Security become a major priority for the International Federation and for its network (now made by 187 National Societies) working with millions of volunteers at the community, national and international level.
This policy sets the basis of Red Cross and Red Crescent action in food security.
According to this policy, the International Federation and each National Society shall

Recognise the role of the Red Cross/Red Crescent in protecting life, which includes food security, as complementary to Government and other actors and strive to form partnerships, advocate and raise awareness on food security issues

Strive to build food security upon programming in disasters or in efforts to reduce risk to disasters as well as health including HIV/AIDS Home Care.

Recognise that food insecurity may have a different impact on men and women, on different individuals and groups of people. Programmes should be designed and implemented in a diversity and gender sensitive way to consider biological, social and cultural differences.

Undertake food security assessment and analysis that demonstrates an understanding of how affected populations normally secure food, the risks, the causes and impact of disasters on the immediate and future food security and the most appropriate responses to address both transient (acute) food insecurity and longer term (chronic) food insecurity, through recognising and supporting household coping mechanisms.

Undertake nutrition assessment and analysis that demonstrates an understanding of public health in order to better determine the causes and impact of disasters as well as the effectiveness of interventions.
Support primary production when it is a viable food security strategy by ensuring that people have the means to e.g. undertake agricultural production, fish, or rear livestock, in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner for consumption or exchange.

Support income generation or employment where there has been a demonstrated loss of income generation opportunities or employment or where this is a key coping mechanism of people affected by food insecurity. Remuneration can be in kind or cash and programmes should not interfere with seasonal livelihood activities.

Support asset development, protection or recovery where those assets support livelihood strategies or provide an opportunity for diversification of such strategies.

Support access to markets both as producers and consumers to buy, sell or exchange food and other essential items at reasonable prices and in an efficient manner. This may include advocacy at International, Regional or National or projects such as community village road construction.

Provide food aid when appropriate as either a nutrition input or as an economic input to households. Food aid should be culturally acceptable, free from undesirable long-term consequences and adhere to recipient country specifications for quality and international standards. The impact of food aid on agricultural production and the economy should be considered prior to programming. Food aid programming can take different forms including, free food distributions, food for work, complementary and supplementary feeding.

Not accept or distribute donations of Dried Skimmed Milk (DSM) or other milk powder, e.g. whole milk powder, unless this is done as part of a premix for supplementary feeding or under special circumstances where supervision of preparation and access to sufficient clean water is possible. This recognises the inherent difficulties of ensuring adequate hygiene and appropriate use of milk powder when provided as a separate item for distribution.

Promote and protect breast-feeding in line with in-country policies on mother to child transmission of HIV through awareness raising and distribution of breast milk substitutes when absolutely necessary. In such cases where breast-milk substitutes are necessary and distributed, adherence to the World Health Organisations “International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes” is to be demonstrated by the distributing organisation.

Prevent micronutrient deficiencies through appropriate programming and wherever possible in the most sustainable way through community-based health and nutrition education as well as advocating for national legislation on public health interventions, e.g. iodisation of salt. Micronutrient deficiencies arising from Vitamin A, Iodine, and Iron deficiency are of primary concern. (Segue alla pagina successiva >>)