Skip to content

Panel: New Challenges and Opportunities for Ensuring Access to Nutrition

About the Session:

New Challenges and Opportunities for Ensuring Access to Nutrition

In this session, panelists discussed challenges that have newly emerged in light of the pandemic as well as those that have been exacerbated by the crisis. Presentations highlighted what we are learning about how to respond to these issues from early global experiences and where opportunities exist to recover and improve into the future.

The Speakers:

  • Catherine Bertini, Distinguished Fellow, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Yannick Foing, Global Director – Nutrition Improvement, DSM
  • Miriam Shindler, Programme Lead, Better Diets for Children, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)
  • Dr. Fatima Hachem, Nutrition Education and Consumer Awareness Team Leader, Nutrition and Food Systems Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

The Highlights:

Noting that COVID-19 has had major impact on the economy, food systems, and health systems that children and their families rely on, Miriam Shindler, GAIN, introduced the Standing Together for Nutrition Consortium, shared information about the Inter-Agency Framework (developed by GAIN, UNICEF, and a variety of other partners), and highlighted several important resources, including the following recommendations from key UN Agencies (UNICEF, WHO, WFP, and FAO) to ensure children have access to good nutrition:

  • Safeguard access to nutritious, safe, and affordable diets.
  • Invest in improving maternal and child nutrition
  • Increase focus on child wasting, including activating and scaling up services where possible
  • Expand social protection to safeguard access to nutritious diets
Yannick Foing, DSM, highlighted that governments are increasingly recognizing the critical importance of nutrition in school meal programs and that he believes now is the time to try and help governments to identify solutions for improving school nutrition. By looking to examples of fortification in countries like Bhutan, India, Myanmar, and Cambodia, country governments can find successful strategies to adapt for their own contexts.
Dr. Fatima Hachem provided an overview of current global hunger statistics, highlighting that, currently, “3 billion people can’t afford a healthy diet.” Dr. Hachem outlined key opportunities for transforming food systems to better serve the cause of children and to build community participation, including: 
  • Inclusive procurement and value chains
  • Increased food and nutrition education
  • Enabling policies, legal, and institutional environments
  • Community Engagement

About The Speakers


Catherine Bertini

Distinguished Fellow
Chicago Council on Global Affairs

An accomplished leader in international organization reform and a powerful advocate for women and girls, Catherine Bertini has a distinguished career improving the efficiency and operations of organizations serving poor and hungry people in the United States and around the world. She has highlighted and supported the roles of women and girls in influencing change. She was named the 2003 World Food Prize Laureate for her transformational leadership at the World Food Programme (WFP), which she led for ten years, and for the positive impact she had on the lives of women. More recently, she co-chaired a successful effort to impact American policy supporting poor farmers in the developing world. As a United Nations Under Secretary General, she interacted with all UN agencies and their leadership through a variety of UN bodies in humanitarian, development, nutrition, security and management roles, and led UN humanitarian missions to the Horn of Africa and to Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel. With her World Food Prize, she created the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education to support programs to increase opportunities for girls and women to attend school. She served as a senior fellow at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation early in its new agricultural development program, on the jury for the Hilton Foundation Humanitarian Prize. Bertini is now the chair of the board of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). Concurrently, she is Distinguished Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. She has been named a Champion of the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit. She is a professor emeritus at Syracuse University. She is an affiliated expert at the Lugar Center, a patron of Gender in Agricultural Partnership (GAP), a senior non-resident advisor to the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), an honorary advisor to the Global Child Nutrition Foundation, an advisory board member of the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at the Bush School of Public Service at Texas A&M University, and a member of the Leadership Council of Compact 2025 of the International Food Policy Research Institute and of the ACIES End Hunger Sustainably Program advisory board.


Yannick Photo 2020

Yannick Foing

Global Director
Nutrition Improvement, DSM

Yannick holds higher degrees in Molecular Biology, Public Health and Social Impact Strategy. Prior to joining DSM, Yannick was previously the Director of Partnerships and Fundraising for BIOVISION- the World Life Sciences Forum (France), a think tank organised by a non-profit group to foster collaboration between developed and emerging economies and improve access to essential medicines. Yannick joined DSM in Singapore in 2012 and was initially responsible for the Asia Pacific region, driving the development of food fortification and supplementation programmes such as rice fortification. Yannick has since held a global partner engagement role from 2018 to 2020 and has recently been appointed Global Director of DSM’s Nutrition Improvement unit, whose mission is to positively impact public health by developing and implementing effective and affordable nutrition solutions, leveraging their expertise and cross sectors partnerships to reach low income consumers and beneficiaries.

Miriam Shindler

Programme Lead
Better Diets for Children, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)

Miriam Shindler leads the Better Diets for Children Programme at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). Her work focuses on building partnerships and implementing programmes that transform food system actions to better cater to the specific needs of children. Prior to joining GAIN, she managed a first-of-its-kind nutrition programme co-created with young girls at the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and also worked at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) in Mexico. Her expertise lies in the intersection between food systems and childhood, and she is passionate about making it easier for children and their families to make better food choices and access healthier foods. She is experienced in participatory programme design and implementation and has implemented projects in over a dozen countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Miriam holds a BA (Hons) in Philosophy and Politics and a M.A. in International Development and Environmental Studies from the University of Manchester.


Presentation Materials:

Resources Shared in Presentation:

Dr. Fatima Hachem

Nutrition Education and Consumer Awareness Team Leader
Nutrition and Food Systems Division
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

View more Sessions