The Government of Peru and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) today intensified their efforts to eliminate hunger together through an innovative plan, focusing on combatting malnutrition and anaemia.
Under the plan (2018–2022), WFP becomes the Government’s strategic ally in the fight against hunger and to reach the second of the Sustainable Development Goals: zero hunger by 2030.
The Peruvian Minister for Social Inclusion Fiorella Molinelli told the second annual session of WFP’s Executive Board that the challenge now facing her country was to create development that was people-centred, so that no one was left behind.
“With the support of WFP, Peru can be one of the first middle-income countries to achieve SDG 2 and be able to say — Zero Hunger? Job done,” she said.
Peru’s leadership in the fight against hunger is recognized for the impressive achievement of having halved (from 26 percent to 13 percent) chronic childhood malnutrition in the past ten years. However, rates of malnutrition and anaemia remain high, alongside a growing problem of overweight and obesity.
Minister Molinelli highlighted the importance of an International Day of Sustainable Gastronomy (June 18), which Peru has fought hard to establish, and how her country has placed nutrition at the forefront of its development plans.
“Nutrition is at the heart of what we are trying to achieve with our social policies, for example nutrition programmes for young children and school meals programmes, and we are now trying to integrate that with infrastructural policy and investments. We are also striving to create more opportunities for livelihoods and economic inclusion,” she said.
One of the most innovative approaches to tackling malnutrition and anaemia has been a reality TV show — backed by the Government and WFP — where professional chefs travel around the country, meeting families and communities and helping them with tasty nutritious solutions from Peru’s rich array of indigenous foods. The show, Cocina con Causa, brings these new ways of eating to the public across Peru in the regular TV show.
Heading up this new generation of chefs with a social conscience is Palmiro Ocampo, who today received a ‘Zero Hunger Ally’ award for his work, from WFP Executive Director David Beasley.
“Palmiro has helped us reach new audiences to spread the Zero Hunger message. He is a chef with a mighty heart who has given his time and talents to the TV show,” said the Executive Director.
Palmiro turned on a cooking demonstration for the Board members, presenting a host of dishes that use native Peruvian ingredients to maximize their nutritional potential and taste.
“We have prepared a dish called Inca ceviche, for example, which replaces white-fleshed ocean fish with mackerel, which is less expensive and high in iron, mixing with Kamu Kamu an indigenous fruit with a high vitamin C content and sweet potatoes,” he said.
“Gastronomy is not just about haute cuisine. It is an expression of culture and how food links people, their history and their environment. We can and must use it as a vehicle of change to make the world a better place, starting with my own country,” he said.
— Story by Frances Kennedy