Improving Nutrition for Urban Populations: GAIN & RUAF New Partnership

GAIN and RUAF announce their new partnership to work with city governments to improve urban nutrition as a key component of sustainable urban food systems. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in May 2018 as part of the Urban Governance for Nutrition Program, a program designed to strengthen governance around nutrition and improve consumption of safe and nutritious food.

This partnership brings together two organizations with common goals and complimentary experience and skills. As experts in nutrition and private sector engagement, GAIN will work to ensure that urban food systems address the nutritional needs of urban dwellers. RUAF, with its past 20-year track record of success in working with over 50 local governments will support action-research and development and implementation of policies and strategies that build more resilient and equitable urban food systems. Each organization has strong relationships with (national) governments, research institutions, civil society organizations and private sector actors that will benefit the program.

As the world continues to urbanize, it is imperative to ensure that urban food systems support nutrition and health. Cities face a double burden in nutrition – urbanization is linked to overweight and obesity, and thus to the increase in non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease; mal- and undernutrition in urban centres also persists, especially for the urban poor. Other challenges around water, sanitation, hygiene, planning and social capital that influence food and nutrition security will be considered in an integral perspective.

Role of RUAF

RUAF – a global partnership on sustainable urban agriculture and food systems – is a cutting-edge Centre of Expertise that develops, applies and shares innovations. It works through a global partnership of organisations and networks that create, use and share knowledge, expertise and practices. The Partnership was formed in 1999, and comprises expert institutions working in urban and peri-urban agriculture or urban food system solutions, including cities, research institutions and NGOs. RUAF has engaged with over 100 organizations and worked in 50 cities in over 40 different countries around the world. RUAF provides training, technical assistance, action-research and policy advice, technical exchanges and coordinates the CITYFOOD Network of 20 participant city regions to accelerate local and regional government action on sustainable and resilient food systems. In this partnership, RUAF will leverage its experience and expertise with city governments and urban food systems to make and implement supportive food policies.

Role of GAIN

The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) is an international organization launched at the UN Special Session on Children in 2002 to tackle the human suffering caused by malnutrition. In 2017, GAIN’s programs reached almost a billion people in more than 30 countries with improved nutrition. GAIN builds multi-sectoral alliances to find and deliver solutions to the complex problem of malnutrition. GAIN focuses on children, girls and women because providing them with sustainable, nutritious diets is crucial to ending the cycle of malnutrition. In this partnership, GAIN will provide nutritional expertise to ensure urban food systems address quantity, quality and safety of food and to encourage the private sector to engage in developing and implementing policy that promotes nutrition.