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  February 1998    

UNU's Food and Nutrition Programme finds new home at Cornell

The UNU's 22-year-old Food and Nutrition Programme recently underwent an assessment as part of a planned transition from its former location in Boston to a permanent UNU research and training coordination centre (RTCC) based at Cornell University. Nevin Scrimshaw, former director of the programme, explained some of the outcomes of this assessment to staff at UNU Centre on 24 November.

"The UNU deserves the lasting gratitude of the developing world for its contribution towards improving nutrition in developing countries," Dr. Scrimshaw said, adding "with the current weakness of WHO and FAO's lack of interest in nutrition, the UN system needs the UNU in this field more than ever."

Dr. Scrimshaw praised the visible capacity-building results that the programme has been able to achieve in developing countries. "The UNU should be exceedingly proud of the way in which its fellowship programme has changed the history of nutrition on every continent," he said. "It is former UNU fellows who are providing much of the leadership at today's regional and international nutrition meetings."

The new RTCC is called the Centre for International Nutrition Action and Knowledge (CINAK). However, unlike the UNU's eight other research and training centres and programmes (RTC/Ps), this one operates only as a coordinating centre, with its activities continuing to be carried out by the programme's network of associated and cooperating institutions. The big difference is that the programme can now tap into the vast expertise of Cornell's nutrition and food-science faculty.

Dr. Scrimshaw retired as the programme's director at the end of December 1997 but will stay on as its senior adviser and as editor of the UNU's Food and Nutrition Bulletin. Cutberto Garza, head of Cornell's Department of Nutrition and Food Science, took over as the Centre's director on 1 January 1998.

The UNU's programme will move forward under Dr. Garza's leadership, with work continuing on its three specific research topics. The first topic is studying nutrition and health problems found in populations experiencing demographic and economic transition. The second is investigating nutritional security. And the third is looking into complementary food for breast-fed infants.

Anyone who would like to know more about the UNU's Food and Nutrition Programme can visit its homepage at:

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