WFP, today, is crossing paths with the international nutrition community that urgently needs to hear our voice, understand our challenges, and know our requirements.
WFP Nutrition Coordinator Tanuja Rastogi reporting from ICN 09 in Bangkok.
The nutrition community knows the science of “what” causes malnutrition. It is now beginning to shift some of its focus onto the “how” - the science of delivering the best possible nutrition to those most in need.
Logistics and nutrition
Two years ago I sat in a land cruiser crossing the barren landscape of western Sudan, with WFP’s Darfur coordinator Pablo Recalde. As we drove, he told me about the daily challenges of providing food to people in dire need and living in refugee camps.
Today, I am sitting with the same person, a leading logistician, who is now Country Director in Zambia. We’re talking about nutrition. Pablo said that WFP is “retooling” and, as it changes the way it does business, it needs to adapt and use new approaches to address hunger and nutrition challenges.
A group of WFP staff from around the globe - India, Sudan, Senegal, Rome, Bangladesh, South Africa, Thailand and Egypt – gathered this morning in an empty side-room. They were eager to discuss the latest global thinking on nutrition. They all want one thing - to translate knowledge from the world’s leading nutrition experts into actions that improve their work and have a real impact.
They also bring invaluable field perspectives and “reverse-lens approaches” that are so essential in developing effective nutrition programs on the ground. Perhaps, together, these groups can strengthen the budding new field of nutrition delivery science.
Centre of gravity
This week, the WFP booth in the ICN exhibit hall has become the centre of gravity for the WFP family, our colleagues and friends. We use this small space to regroup, connect, network, and share what we are learning. Some stop by for information on what we do and how we do it, while others come to see old friends. Many have passed by to pay their respects to our colleagues killed earlier this week in Islamabad and to express outrage and sadness for what has happened.
Thanks to everyone who has supported us during this tragic moment.