Nutrition and Resilience: Strengthening the links between resilience and nutrition in food and agriculture

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The concept of ‘resilience’ and its practical application in food security (and nutrition) policy formulation and implementation has recently become influential in humanitarian and development communities. This interest is born from the recognition that the frequency of natural disasters is growing, human-induced political crises persist and investments in development and humanitarian aid have failed to effectively prevent humanitarian crises. This has led to increasing focus on how emergency programmes can be designed to support households and governments in a more effective and sustainable way, and how disaster risk reduction, preparedness and prevention measures can be better included in development policies and programmes. Simultaneously, nutrition has received greater attention as illustrated by the growing number of countries and partners joining the Scaling Up Nutrition movement. A key element of this new emphasis concerns the role of food and agriculture in nutrition. In this context, this paper is an attempt to bring together the thinking on nutrition and resilience from a food and agriculture perspective and to discuss the linkages between the two agendas from a conceptual, strategic and operational perspective. The paper argues that good nutrition is both an essential "input" for resilience and an outcome of resilience. It highlights key areas of convergence between the two concepts as well as opportunities to enhance the nutritional impact of resilience-building programming in the context of the food and agriculture sector. Building on the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's resilience strategy, this paper then suggests concrete actions which can be taken to strengthen resilience along with addressing the root causes of malnutrition. The paper concludes with an acknowledgement of the challenges that remain in lining the two agendas and highlights some areas where further research is needed.