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Nutrition Policy in Egypt, the origins
… and where we are today
Habiba Hassan-Wassef. MD
National Research Center, Cairo
OUTLINE
• Landmarks in the evolution of nutrition policy in Egypt
• Pellagra eradication as the first exercise in joint nu...
Some nutrition policy related landmarks - 1
Some nutrition policy related landmarks - 2
The first exercise in nutrition policy formulation
• Applied in the national strategy and plan for eradication of the
pell...
Coordinating bodies, past and present
• The Permanent Nutrition Committee established by the Government
in 1943 and its ma...
Information management in nutrition
Uptake and uses made of data generation
• National information systems servicing nutri...
Examples of successful uptake of scientific evidence.
• Universal program for iodization of salt (MoHP led intersectoral e...
A functioning nutrition system for Egypt
Towards strengthening evidence-based policy in nutrition
• Strengthen the stewardship and/or governance of the nutrition s...
Recommendations of a
conference on school
feeding policy and strategy
which recommend, inter
alia, utilization of local fo...
Memo from the Director of Social
Health for improving the
subsidized bread to adapt to the
nutritional needs and and
econo...
End of memo contributing to the
decision on flour mix and bran
content of subsidized bread.
(mixing 90% extraction wheat
w...
Thank You
Habiba Hassan (Nutrition Policy Consultant) • 2018 IFPRI Egypt Seminar: “High quality evidence is critical for high qualit...
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Habiba Hassan (Nutrition Policy Consultant) • 2018 IFPRI Egypt Seminar: “High quality evidence is critical for high quality nutrition policy”

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as part of the IFPRI-Egypt Seminar Series- funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project called “Evaluating Impact and Building Capacity” (EIBC) that is implemented by IFPRI.

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Habiba Hassan (Nutrition Policy Consultant) • 2018 IFPRI Egypt Seminar: “High quality evidence is critical for high quality nutrition policy”

  1. 1. Nutrition Policy in Egypt, the origins … and where we are today Habiba Hassan-Wassef. MD National Research Center, Cairo
  2. 2. OUTLINE • Landmarks in the evolution of nutrition policy in Egypt • Pellagra eradication as the first exercise in joint nutrition policy • Nutrition Governance in Egypt • Health-agriculture working relation in nutrition • Comment on present day nutrition research and its uptake • Coordinating the multiple stakeholders’ contributing to “nutrition” • Mechanisms for nutrition policy formulation, past and present • Examples of success stories and missed opportunities • Strengthening the nutrition system and the way forward
  3. 3. Some nutrition policy related landmarks - 1
  4. 4. Some nutrition policy related landmarks - 2
  5. 5. The first exercise in nutrition policy formulation • Applied in the national strategy and plan for eradication of the pellagra pandemic • Pellagra eradication policy combined health, nutrition, agriculture and food subsidy policies and was based on scientific evidence • Extensive research and scientific/economic debate preceded the decisions on the quantity of bran in the specifications of the “baladi” bread.
  6. 6. Coordinating bodies, past and present • The Permanent Nutrition Committee established by the Government in 1943 and its mandate • Various coordinating committees of the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) for specific nutrition objectives • The National Food and Nutrition Security Committee (NFNSC) headed by the Minister of Agriculture (?inactive) • The Food and Nutrition Security Information Center (? acting in lieu of the NFNSC…) • The multi-sectoral Nutrition Committee of the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology • The nutrition Society established in the 1970’s (a member of IUNS)
  7. 7. Information management in nutrition Uptake and uses made of data generation • National information systems servicing nutrition and nutrition related data and research outcomes (health, agriculture and other) • Nutrition surveillance system – piloted, not yet operational • Nutrition tools such as FBDG and food analysis tables in need of update in line with nutrition transition and changed food/eating habits • Nutrition research today and fate of research outcomes
  8. 8. Examples of successful uptake of scientific evidence. • Universal program for iodization of salt (MoHP led intersectoral effort) • Reform of the food subsidy system based on evidence from the IFPRI study* of the role of food subsidies. • Strengthening of the nutrition returns of the social protection programs of the Ministry of Social Solidarity based on evidence generated from the evaluation of their socio- economic impact (work in progress led by IFPRI research team). Some missed opportunities: • No uptake for policy formulation following the Child Poverty and Disparities in Egypt; Landscape Analysis; Cost of Hunger, and the 2017 Nutrition Stakeholder and action Mapping Reports. • Limited use is made of the data that can be collected and analyzed from the large numbers of nutrition patients consulting at the specialized clinics of the National Nutrition Institute. • Current final draft of the MoHP National Nutrition Strategy does not offer a policy framework for aligning the contribution of other sectors to nutrition specific or nutrition sensitive activities/actions. Harmonization and synergy development is minimal between the nutrition stakeholders. • “Nutrition and Economic Development: Exploring Egypt’s exceptionalism and the role of food subsidies”. Ecker O. et al (IFPRI 2016)
  9. 9. A functioning nutrition system for Egypt
  10. 10. Towards strengthening evidence-based policy in nutrition • Strengthen the stewardship and/or governance of the nutrition system, increasing the coherence and relevance of the work of all stakeholders • Initiate policy level dialogues between all actors/sectors • Increase budgetary allocations for nutrition research • Encourage involvement of graduate degree students in nutrition research • Make information systems available to all concerned sectors • Encourage integrated policy formulation and joint conception of integrated strategies based on scientific evidence • Institutional reform to facilitate improved nutrition governance and uptake of scientific evidence generated by research • Mainstreaming of nutrition sensitive actions in the work of all relevant sectors can widen the scope of uptake of relevant scientific evidence.
  11. 11. Recommendations of a conference on school feeding policy and strategy which recommend, inter alia, utilization of local food resources and respect of local food habits (?early 1950s)
  12. 12. Memo from the Director of Social Health for improving the subsidized bread to adapt to the nutritional needs and and economic context, ending with recommendations of promoting fish to increase the protein intake of the poor families (?1948).
  13. 13. End of memo contributing to the decision on flour mix and bran content of subsidized bread. (mixing 90% extraction wheat with 62.5 % extraction barley was under discussion in 1952)
  14. 14. Thank You

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