BIFAD Meeting Minutes September 14 2020 COVID-19 and Nutrition: Impacts, Field Innovations, and the Way Forward

Speeches Shim

A public meeting of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD), COVID-19 and Nutrition: Impacts, Field Innovations, and the Way Forward was held on September 14, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT.  A public comment period took place from 11:50 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. EDT.

This convening followed the June 4, 2020 181st BIFAD meeting, Food Security and Nutrition in the Context of COVID-19, to provide an update on the impacts of the pandemic on nutrition outcomes and to discuss USAID's response. The COVID-19 crisis risks backsliding on nutrition gains with irrevocable impacts on mortality and lost potential. Initial projections show likely significant increases in wasting and forthcoming analyses will quantify the potential impacts on small for gestational age, micronutrient deficiencies, stunting and declines in breastfeeding. Field reporting indicates significant reduction in coverage of key nutrition interventions. These will all translate in loss of life and development gains if not countered with adequate action on nutrition as global decision makers focus on response and recovery.

The meeting provided dedicated time to discuss how the global community can work together to protect and advance nutrition outcomes across sectors during COVID-19 response and recovery. In real time, researchers and implementers are gathering evidence to better understand the impacts of the pandemic and learning how to respond.

The meeting was organized to achieve three objectives:

1. To provide an update on what emerging research and data can tell us about the current and expected impacts of COVID-19 containment and control measures on nutrition, and how we should use this emerging evidence to guide our response.

2. To learn from our implementing partners and USAID Missions across sectors that have pivoted their implementation to respond to COVID-19 and protect nutrition outcomes. To understand the realities on the ground, and to include the innovations and expertise of those on the frontlines in the discourse.

3. To discuss and prioritize actions for the near, medium, and long term to safeguard and accelerate nutrition progress.

The meeting was intended to help support decision making by USAID and its partners and stakeholders working to advance food security and nutrition at global, regional and national levels. On the basis of testimony, including public comments, shared at the meeting, BIFAD provided formal findings, conclusions, and recommendations to the Agency on best-bet operational and programmatic investments.

Monday, December 14, 2020 - 3:45pm