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On World Food Day, World Vision calls on EU and global leaders to eliminate hunger and preventable child deaths

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worldvisionOn World Food Day (16 October), development organization World Vision will call on the EU and global leaders to eliminate child hunger and bring the number of children dying from preventable causes to zero.

“More than 842 million people go to bed hungry, despite an abundance of food worldwide,” says World Vision EU representative Marius Wanders. “According to a recent Lancet report, malnutrition is responsible for the deaths of 45 per cent of children under five years of age, resulting in the loss of around 3.1 million lives each year. Estimates also indicate stunting affected at least 165 million children worldwide in 2011, irreversibly damaging their cognitive and physical development, contributing to a vicious cycle of poverty.”  

The theme of World Food Day is 'Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition' and World Vision is calling for a focus on healthy food systems, including the land, water and soil on which food production depends, as well as on small family farmers who are the majority of the world’s food insecure. These calls are supported by World Vision practices, such as the ‘Farmer-Managed Natural Regeneration’ programme, an approach receiving recognition from the United Nations.

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“Eliminating hunger requires a deliberate effort to restore the health of food systems, allowing them to become resilient, sustainable and more productive,” says Wanders. “When people have the ability to provide for their families, combined with the knowledge and behaviours needed to make good dietary choices, we will have healthy food systems leading to healthy communities.”

Wanders acknowledges the EU and other global donors have shown an increasing interest in the problems of hunger and undernutrition. World Vision is particularly supportive of the EU’s recent external policy focus on maternal and child nutrition, which tackles the underlying causes of poor nutrition through a multi-sectoral approach.

However, Wanders concludes “the global community needs to increase momentum over the coming years to reduce global hunger and undernutrition through every possible means. World Vision is calling on EU and global decision-makers to consign hunger to the history books and to reduce the number of children who die from preventable causes to zero.”

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Kazakh president sets out five priorities for #Kazakhstan’s 'Third Stage of Modernization' 

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In his annual address to the nation, Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan, announced five main priorities as part of what he described as “Kazakhstan’s third stage of modernization”. The priorities are aimed at ensuring economic growth and supporting the country to become one of the top 30 most developed countries in the world by 2050.

The five priorities are: Acceleration of technological modernization of the economy, improved business environment, macroeconomic stability, improved quality of human capital and institutional reforms, including improved security and more action to tackle corruption.

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President Nazarbayev said in his annual address: “I am setting the task of ensuring the implementation of the Third Modernisation of Kazakhstan. It is necessary to create a new model of economic growth that will ensure the country's global competitiveness.”

He added: “This modernization is not a plan to combat current global challenges, but a reliable bridge to the future, to meet the objectives of Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy. It will be carried out on the basis of the 100 Concrete Steps Plan of the Nation.”

The Head of State also instructed the Government to developa package of measures for the technological re-equipment of basic industries by 2025.

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The annual address followed a special announcement given by the President last week, in which he set out bold plansto increase the powers of parliament. President Nazarbayev stated that these constitutional reforms are aimed at furthering the democratic development of Kazakhstan, as the Government will be accountable to parliament.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev has proposed a constitutional reform aimed at furthering the democratic development of Kazakhstan. During a special televised address to the nation on 25 January, the President announced a number of functions that would be transferred either to the Government or Parliament. Public discussions on the proposed constitutional reforms will take place for the next month, concluding on 26 February. After this, the reforms will be presented to Parliament.