The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday launched the WHO Global Strategy for Food Safety 2022-2030, adopted by Member States at the 75th Session of the World Health Assembly – Resolution WHA 75(22).
The launch marked a milestone in WHO, which seeks to promote health, keep the world safe and protect the vulnerable.
Every year, one in ten people globally fall ill due to foodborne diseases. Contaminated food can cause over 200 diseases, and the magnitude of public health burden is comparable to malaria or HIV AIDS. Children under five are at higher risk, as one in six deaths from diarrhea are caused by unsafe food.
The updated WHO Global Strategy for Food Safety is a step towards a safer and healthier world, but also towards strengthening multi-sectoral collaboration and innovative public health approaches.
Member States in their efforts to prioritize, plan, implement, monitor and regularly evaluate actions towards the reduction of the burden of foodborne diseases (FBD) have developed the Global Food Safety Strategy to guide and support initiatives by continuously strengthening food safety systems and promoting global cooperation.
In a press statement sent to newsrooms, the Strategy’s vision is that all people, everywhere, consume safe and healthy food so as to reduce the burden of FBDs. This strategy gives stakeholders the tools they need to strengthen their national food safety systems and collaborate with partners around the world.
This new WHO Global Strategy for Food Safety 2022-2030 addresses current and emerging challenges, incorporates new technologies and includes innovative approaches for strengthening food safety systems.
It also reflects feedback received through a comprehensive consultation process with Member States and governmental institutions, United Nations agencies and other intergovernmental organizations, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, private sector entities, and individuals working in public health and food safety.
The strategy also sets concrete targets and aims to reduce the burden of foodborne diseases by reducing 40 per cent the number of cases of foodborne diarrheal diseases that affects mostly the children under the age of 5 and other vulnerable populations. It also has a target of 100 per cent of functional coordination mechanisms to manage foodborne events and enhanced laboratory capacity for foodborne disease surveillance.
The strategy has identified five interlinked and mutually reinforcing strategic priorities that aim to build proactive, forward-looking, evidence-based, people-centered, and cost-effective food safety systems with coordinated governance and adequate infrastructures.
The plan of the strategy is aligned with the FAO food safety strategic priorities through a joint coordination framework.
In 2020, Resolution 73.5 titled: ‘Strengthening efforts on food safety’ was adopted by the Seventy-Third World Health Assembly. In the resolution, Member States requested for an updated WHO Global Strategy for Food Safety to address current and emerging challenges, incorporate new technologies and include innovative approaches for strengthening food safety systems.
By Alice Gworo