Official Launch of the HDSFS Coalition
May 13th marked the official launch of the Coalition of Action for Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems for Children and All (HDSFS). The launch was marked by a special event co-hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) which attracted over 700 participants from across the globe and featured an exciting panel of country representatives and core group Members.
As Dr. Zsuzsanna Jakab, Deputy Director General of WHO emphasized in her opening remarks, “the call for healthy diets from sustainable food systems, demanded by young people, echoed throughout the United Nations Food Systems Summit, and is reflected in countries’ national pathways for food systems transformation as the loudest, number one priority for action.” The HDSFS Coalition brings together committed Member States and a Core Group of stakeholders to deliver on this call to action and accelerate progress towards its shared vision of healthy diets from sustainable food systems for all.
The launch event showcased the new HDSFS Coalition Workplan which will drive forward progress towards the Coalitions vision. The workplan centers around three key functions:
Addressing priorities challenges at the country level through aligning action across food systems for collective impact
Facilitate peer-to-peer learning between countries.
Manage special projects on integrating nutrition, health, and sustainability through food, determined by country priorities ( with a focus on sustainable foo and diets in NDCs and the incorporation of sustainability elements in Food Based Dietary Guidelines for 2022)
The launch event was moderated by Abigail Perry, Director of WFP’s Nutrition Division and showcased the broad membership of the HDSFS Coalition. Featuring presentations by frontrunner country representatives Dr Lia Tadese, Minister of Health Ethiopia, Anders Nordstrom, Ambassador for Global Health, UN Policy Department, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden; Ms. Karima Ahmed Al-Hada'a, Planning and Liaison Specialist SUN-Yemen; and Ms. Wendy Marianela Campoverde Pabón, National Director of Health Promotion, Ecuador. As well as reflections form Dr Stefanos Fotiou, Director of the Office of Sustainable Development Goals, and Head, UN Food Systems Coordination Hub; Ms Lana Weidgenant, Youth representative from the Zero Hour movement, and Dr Brent Loken, Global Food Lead Scientist, World Wildlife Fund.
As emphasized in the opening remarks by Beth Bechdol, Deputy Director General of FAO “The tough lessons of the past two years have reminded us of our interconnectedness – how seemingly unrelated issues are really part of the same whole – and how, by coming together, we can face even the biggest challenges and strive for a brighter future. For healthy diets to be accessible to everybody, we need to work collectively on policy and action in food supply chains. What we need is a true systems approach if we are to find durable solutions. And that is the change that this Coalition can help bring.”
By harnessing the collection commitment of its Members the HDSFS Coalition now looks to come together and deliver on this exciting workplan.
A full recording of the event can be found here. And the presented slides can be downloaded below.