10 July 2018

2018 GFPR Lamis Jomaa Assistant Professor Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences FAFS

As a part of a series of launches held in major cities around the globe, the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS), along with its Food Security ...

and our last intervention from dr. let

me show mo thank you so I'm told I have very limited time for those who know me I do speak fast I'll try to be as calm as possible it's a pleasure to be part of this panel definitely very interesting very well written and thorough report thank you for sharing it with us Klingons an idiom today I'm going to be building on few topics that I think are of interest to me and to many of us here and I mean I'm particular so we've talked about global hunger being back on the rise after we've had strides in terms of improvement and the prevalence of undernutrition the GWP data and the FAO data that shows that the food insecurity prevalence is also increasing unfortunately worldwide it's going from eight point eight to nine point three percent that represents about 688 million individuals worldwide worldwide if we were to look at the MENA region alone eleven point eight percent or actually severely food insecure so this is not mentioning up the other forms of food insecurity a lot of this worsening in trends in global hunger and food insecurity have been linked to the persistent conflict and to the basically

that brings us to the topic of the Arab uprising and how food insecurity was not only an outcome and is not an outcome but is argued to be a strong contributor and I know Clements can actually argue more in that on that on that matter so in the era of globalization we're talking about food insecurity and conflicts we cannot but talk about refugees and refugees cannot be looked at from a regional lens and I want to here focus more on that chapter particularly that's looking at the tightening of borders and the immigration restrictions as Carolyn said about the u.s. travel ban that was recently also ruled out with the Supreme Court the UK practice that many of the European countries that are taking quite a stand in terms of being more restrictive to migrants and to human movement what does this mean in terms of food and security is definitely asking big questions and here is where I start thinking about how much literature is out there in terms of the food insecurity and migration the report does address that there's really minimal evidence looking at that particular two intertwined very simple may be to look

at in terms of migration and food insecurity but when you look at these two together in the literature we don't have much extensive history or much evidence which brings us to the point that I want to make here if you forget nothing from what I'm saying but that point is that we need to build a lot of evidence and research to change the current rhetoric because this anti globalism that we're hearing about more the fear of the refugees it's impasse on the host community there's not enough evidence that actually supports that it could be that much of a burden and this basically what I'm trying to say here is that there is a bunch of recommendations that I thought about when I was thinking about this this particular panel and this report number one we need to think about promoting research and complex protracted crises it's not enough to look at a humanitarian or emergency is a short term and I think that the MENA has been witnessing this we're a very volatile region we should be learning from our history I think it's it comes at a prime time to start looking at that in particular and the Syrian crisis the

Yemeni crisis could be looked as an opportunity not to be missed to learn because we have extended number of refugees thousands and millions of refugees that have been basically you know fled their their countries and they are receiving a lot of interventions so what's working what's not working we need to look further into that so so the MENA region needs much more work we cannot think only about the refugees and not look at the host community and I think we've learned that also in Lebanon and Jordan and Turkey there's a lot of evidence that's that's out there when we talk about food insecurity we need to think about what's working that's making those host communities more resilient so I look at Lebanon as an example that is facing a lot of strain when it comes to the refugees and the Minister of Agriculture representative and many have been talking about the burden but it could be also an opportunity and we need to think about how we can build the evidence what is working for the Lebanese host community why are they resilient what can we promote for now and for the future I think there are a lot of studies that are actually a few

studies that are out there that are basically highlighting that the host community is not being looked at in Lebanon the reach report that was done with the FAO and the Minister of Agriculture and another study that we conducted here at AU V in 2015 they both both reports report the host community is very important that we talk about the refugees and the prevalence of food insecurity definitely high definitely needs more work we need to think more about you know raising more funds the WFP representatives you can definitely echo that but it's not enough to just look at this the data from our studies are showing that about 49 percent of Lebanese households with children we looked at that particular population of 4 to 18 year old we're actually food insecure 42 percent of which are moderately to severely food insecure so the host community needs to be looked at even more and when we look at the data with food security as a nutritionist I can't but think about not just the macroeconomic but definitely the household level and the individual level so we need to look at food consumption behaviors we need to

look at the vulnerable population groups we always talk about mothers women children definitely that's very important to vulnerable groups preliminary evidence from our studies are showing that women and mothers as well as their children from the food insecure households are not consuming adequate diets in terms of quality there is a risk of increased overweight and obesity and that is quite challenging in today's world when we're talking about the nutrition transition maybe we have a room a bit to talk about the impact of globalisation on nutrition and nutrition transition and how we can roll that backward my last two points are we need to streamline nutrition within the food security agenda and I think I want to say that because we talk a lot about nutrition but it seems sometimes to be like an afterthought and we need to definitely put it in streamline it contribution of nutritionists and public health professionals need to be addressed whether we're talking about the sustainable development goals and we're talking about nutrition instead of agriculture what does that really mean it means food quality from production to

consumption so we need to view major players there and finally is more of a recommendation and kind of an open for debate is how we can look at a comprehensive food and nutrition security strategy in our home country in Lebanon in the MENA region I don't think we have enough of how we look at them together we still are fragmented we still have the food food being divided between the Ministry of Agriculture the Ministry of Economy and trade the Ministry of Health is playing a significant role but not on the food security but on the food safety so so this lingo needs to be brought together not just the you know the UN agencies or the international donors and organizations the Lebanese government together the civil society we need to look at that and and a final thought is if we always continue to look at the refugee crisis or the protracted crisis that we are seeing and witnessing as a UNHCR mandate or as a one government mandate it's not enough we are overstretched basically we need to look at this much more globally and this is where global governance in that chapter that you highlight it and I know

takes much more there's much more in the people are talking about that thank you and [Applause]