The ACC/SCN is the focal point for harmonizing the policies and activities in nutrition of the United Nations system. The Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC), which is comprised of the heads of the UN Agencies, recommended the establishment of the Subcommittee on Nutrition in 1977, following the World Food Conference (with particular reference to Resolution V on food and nutrition). This was approved by the Economic and Social Council of the UN (ECOSOC). The role of the SCN is to serve as a coordination mechanism, for exchange of information and technical guidance, and to act dynamically to help the UN respond to nutritional problems.
The UN members of the SCN are FAO, IAEA, IFAD, ILO, UN UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNRISD, UNU, WFP, WHO and the Word Bank. From the outset, representatives of bilateral donor agencies have participated actively in SCN activities. The SCN is assisted by the Advisory Group on Nutrition (AGN), with six to eight experienced individuals drawn from relevant disciplines and with wide geographical representation. The Secretariat is hosted by WHO in Geneva.
The SCN undertakes a range of activities to meet its mandate. Annual meetings have representation from the concerned UN agencies, from 10 to 20 donor agencies, the AGN, as well as invitees on specific topics; these meetings begin with symposia on subjects of current importance for policy. The SCN brings certain such matters to the attention of the ACC. The SCN sponsors working groups on inter-sectoral and sector-specific topics.
The SCN compiles and disseminates information on nutrition, reflecting the shared views of the agencies concerned. Regular reports on the world nutrition situation are issued, and flow of external resources to address nutrition problems are assessed. State-of-the-Art papers are produced to summarize current knowledge on selected topics. SCN News is normally published twice per year. As decided by the Subcommittee, initiatives are taken to promote coordinated activities - inter-agency programmes, meetings, publications - aimed at reducing malnutrition, primarily in developing countries.
The designations employed and the presentation of material in
this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the
part of the ACC/SCN or its UN member agencies concerning the legal status of any
country, territory, city or area of its authorities, or concerning the
delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
ACC/SCN Secretariat,This report was prepared in collaboration with the Department of International Health and Development, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA 70112.
c/o World Health Organization,
20 Avenue Appia, CH-1211 Geneva 27,
The data were compiled and analyzed by Fiona O'Reilly, Kavita Sethuraman, and Naisu Zhu, with methodological advice from Jean-Pierre Habicht, David Hotchkiss, Mahmud Khan, and Nancy Mock. The work was overseen by John Mason. Layout and graphics were done by Jamie Van Leeuwen, produced through the International Communication Enhancement Center, coordinated by Tom Scialfa.
Access to data and useful advice and consultation with FAO, Macro International (DHS), UNDP, UNICEF, and WHO are gratefully acknowledged.