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Climate Change and Nutrition Security

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Under-nutrition remains one of the world’s most serious but least addressed socio-economic and health problems, and this is further exacerbated by climate change, which undermines efforts to reduce hunger and to protect and promote nutrition. Under-nutrition, in turn, undermines the resilience of vulnerable populations, including women and children, lessening their capacities to adapt to the consequences of climate change. This paper examines the relationship between climate change and nutrition, and proposes policy solutions to address the double threat.Climate change affects nutrition security in many different ways. For example, it increases the risk of water-borne, food-borne and other infectious diseases which reduce the absorption of nutrients by the body.  Climate change also puts a further strain on the already heavy workload of women, making it harder for them to meet the nutritional needs of their families.The paper proposes a twin-track approach: the first track consists of direct and immediate nutrition interventions and safety nets. This includes promoting near-universal access to maternal and child healthcare. The second, connected approach consists of a broader multisectoral approach involving sustainable and climate-resilient agriculture and rural development, health and social protection schemes, risk reduction and management plans and community responses designed to reach the most vulnerable people.