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UFRGS to form partnership with Instituto Fome Zero to promote food and nutritional security

The two institutions will act in support of public policies to combat hunger and malnutrition
UFRGS to form partnership with Instituto Fome Zero to promote food and nutritional security

Photo: Gustavo Diehl/UFRGS - Archive

First Published January 21, 2021

UFRGS signed a working partnership with Instituto Fome Zero (IFZ) to promote Food and Nutrition Security (SAN). The partnership, formed through the ASSSAN circle, aims to promote SAN as a public policy strategy to face the challenges of the current syndemic to which humanity is exposed and which is characterized by the pandemics of malnutrition, obesity, and climate change.

The implementation of the Fome Zero Program, in 2003, alongside transfer income policies, made Brazil one of the first large developing countries to leave the World Hunger Map in 2014. However, six years later, the country has retreated into its standards for food and nutritional security. Currently, Brazil has returned to the list of countries in which hunger is considered a structural problem. And the situation is expected to worsen with the economic and social crisis caused by the covid-19 pandemic, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable populations.

Faced with such circumstances, José Graziano da Silva, one of the creators of the program and former CEO of The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), founded Instituto Fome Zero (IFZ) in October 2020. "IFZ was born to keep the hunger-eradication flag flying and with the purpose to continually engage in initiatives to benefit Food and Nutritional Security in Brazil and alongside the international community. Furthermore, there is the mission to preserve the history of the fight against hunger in Brazil and to develop studies, research, seminars, and the exchange of experiences that may reinstitute our country's pioneering and leadership role in the theme," emphasizes Graziano.

For Gabriela Coelho de Souza, a professor at the Faculty of Economic Sciences and the coordinator of ASSSAN, a public policy to fight hunger must prioritize Food and Nutritional Security. "Our work has always focused on socio-biodiversity; on the sustainable management of native ecosystems based on the concept of conservation through use, which is a way of creating and generating income for communities," she points out.

At first, ASSSAN will support the dissemination of IFZ's objectives in the municipalities and rural territories, where it has already been operating. "In addition, we intend to contribute by advising municipalities and states on the implementation of the Integrated Food and Nutritional Security System (SISAN)," adds Coelho.

ASSSAN coordinates the Plagesan committee. This national research network is being created with the Ministry of Science and Technology and will be hosted by UFRGS, through ASSSAN circle.

The platform brings multiple data on Sovereignty and Food and Nutrition Security, Socio-Biodiversity, and considers Brazil as a whole: biomes, regions, states, and municipalities. "Our challenge in the institute, through the sharing of data and indicators, is to reach local groups, because many of these groups are people from traditional communities, indigenous peoples, migrants; that is, people that are in a greater state of fragility, vulnerability, and food and nutritional insecurity," concluded Professor Coelho.

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Translated into English by Luiz Felipe Lipert, under the supervision and translation revision of Márcia Moura da Silva (P.h.D.) – IL/UFRGS.

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