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Kenya moves toward national food and nutrition policy

Boston -- A team from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University is providing technical assistance to the East and Southern Africa Regional Office of the United Nations Childrens Fund (EASRO UNICEF), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the government of Kenya to build strategies for implementing Kenyas National Food and Nutrition Policy. The Friedman team, led by Gary Gleason, PhD, associate professor at the Friedman School, is assisting the Kenyan government with translating the policy document into a strategic, actionable plan. The scope of the plan ranges from agricultural production, strategic grain reserves, and post-harvest protection, to nutritional interventions for high-risk groups, and the interrelationship of nutrition and diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

"Many countries throughout the world were originally spurred to build national food and nutrition policies because of a call-to-action at the 1992 World Food Summit in Rome," says Gleason, who is also co-chair of the United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition Working Group on Micronutrients. "What weve learned since that time is that food and nutrition policies are often developed but seldom fully implemented. Taking them from paper to approved policy, and from policy to funding and effective programs is a challenging, multi-faceted process, requiring involvement from many government groups that sometimes see themselves as unrelated.

"In Kenya," Gleason continues, "this is a good time to develop a policy that can have a lasting impact. There is a convergence between many Kenyan government groups and various international and donor agencies, all of which recognized acute nutritional problems in the country that require a complex solution."

Gleason, along with Tufts colleagues Patrick Webb, PhD, dean for academic affairs at the Friedman School and former head of nutrition at the World
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Contact: Siobhan Gallagher
617-636-6586
Tufts University
23-Apr-2007


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