19 September 2023, Amman, Jordan – Today is the first day of the intercountry meeting for nutrition focal points organized by the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean. It also marks the launch of the Eastern Mediterranean Region food composition database, a joint initiative by Al-Quds University and the Regional Office.
The meeting is taking place from 19 to 21 September 2023, in Amman, Jordan, under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Salha Bint Asem. Representatives of all of the Region’s Member States will attend, along with members of academia, United Nations agencies and international organizations.
Experts from the WHO Headquarters and the Regional Office will update delegates on relevant WHO guidance and resources, and opportunities for technical support. They will share country experiences on policy implementation, as well as other success stories and challenges, and identify country support needs and opportunities for intercountry collaboration.
Double burden of malnutrition
In her opening remarks, Her Royal Highness Princess Salha Bint Asem noted the nutrition situation in Jordan: “Jordan, like other countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, is suffering from a rapid nutritional shift that has led to high rates of overweight and obesity, and thus a high incidence of related noncommunicable diseases.”
HRH Princess Salha continued: “Health authorities, in collaboration with WHO, support healthy nutrition programmes to reduce obesity rates and control high blood pressure, diabetes and other noncommunicable diseases.”
In his opening remarks, Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, stressed on the heavy burden of malnutrition in the Region: “Malnutrition