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Food Security consultation important to Ministry of Health's Nutrition Strategy

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Wednesday, July 5, 2006 – The Ministry of Health, Human Services and Family Affairs stands to benefit from ongoing consultation and study of the levels of food and nutrition security on the island as well as the profiling of persons who may be vulnerable.

The initiative spearheaded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is being supported by the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The issue of food security and safety, according to Food and Nutrition Specialist with the Ministry of Health Patricia Joseph, remains an essential and necessary requirement.

“Once the assessment is over the Ministry of Health will benefit from some of the information that we desperately need for adequate planning, implementation and evaluation of certain components of the food and nutrition strategy, which we have endorsed within the national strategic plan,” said the Ministry of Health official.

It has long been documented and proven that food as a basic need, requirement and a right—in many ways—has a considerable impact on the health and well being of individuals, communities and countries.

“Food of the right quantity, quality and variety is necessary for optimum health and wellness. In-fact currently, at the Ministry of Health, we are looking at the impact of poor nutrition on the outcome of babies, the outcome of learning for school children as well as the impact of productivity of individuals,” said Miss Joseph.

Only last week the Ministry of Agriculture engaged representatives from a wide cross-section of the St. Lucian society in dialogue on the issues faced in their communities, as far as food security is concerned. It is hoped that this will assist in profiling, in terms of under nutrition and groups of persons that are vulnerable.

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