“Integrating Nutrition into the ASEAN Food Security Framework and Strategic Plan of Action”
An ASEAN High Level meeting took place in Bangkok, Thailand from 29 to 31 January, with the aims of increasing understanding of agriculture’s role in improving nutrition; intensifying dialogue and mutual understanding of a multi-sectoral approach to improving nutrition; and agreeing practical steps for nutrition actions on the ground. The meeting is expected to bring together 150 participants including Deputy Prime Ministers and senior level officials of the Ministries of Agriculture, Health, Education, Finance, and Planning and Investment, from South East Asian countries. In addition, development organizations, research and academic institutions, private sectors, philanthropic foundations and civil society organizations attended.
$2.1 Million Awarded to Five National Civil Society Platforms via SUN MTPF
Over $2.1 million has been awarded to national civil society platforms in five SUN countries – Bangladesh, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger and Uganda – through the SUN Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF).
The SUN MPTF, established in March 2012 by participating UN agencies and contributing donor partners, is designed to ensure catalytic grants reach governments, UN agencies, civil society and other stakeholders to enable development and implementation of national efforts to scale up nutrition. Not meant to replace other steams of funding, the MPTF was established to enable or initiate action on scaling up nutrition at the country-level when other funding support is not available.
In addition to providing financial support for initiating SUN actions at the country level – including establishment and strengthening of multi-stakeholder platforms, stock-taking, hosting national SUN launches and facilitating sharing of experiences at regional and global meetings – an initial funding priority of the MPTF is to support development and operation of civil society platforms in SUN countries.
The funds totaling over $2.1 million have been approved to support mobilization and alignment of civil society in advancing SUN Movement activities in five SUN countries:
Bangladesh: Civil Society Alliance for SUN awarded $535,000
For 25 years, NGOs and civil society organizations have played a key role in successful implementation of large-scale government interventions. MPTF funds will support further development and coordination of civil society activities through the recently launched Civil Society Alliance for SUN in Bangladesh (CSA for SUN, BD) to facilitate wider implementation of the national nutrition agenda. The CSA for SUN, BD will work closely with the SUN Government Focal Point under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, UN agencies, donors and businesses aligned with national efforts to accelerate progress on improving maternal and child nutrition.
Malawi: Civil Society Organizations’ Alliance awarded $428,000
MPTF funding in Malawi will support the establishment of a strong, sustainable and influential Civil Society Organizations’ (CSO) Alliance to support the implementation of nutrition interventions outlined in the national agenda. The CSO Alliance will work with stakeholders at all levels, including government ministries, the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), NGOs, UN agencies, the business community, technical and research institutions, and district- and community-level organizations and authorities to ensure that nutrition is integrated across all areas of programming, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The overarching aim of the effort is to harness the power of cross-sectoral civil society engagement in advancing nutrition within the national agenda.
Mozambique: Civil Society awarded $428,000 to strengthen its contribution to scaling up nutrition
Funding for strengthening capacity and coordination among civil society in Mozambique comes at an important time, as the country works to roll out implementation of the 10-year Action Plan for reducing chronic malnutrition. The civil society platform will work with relevant government sectors to ensure that necessary resources are mobilized and allocated for cross-sector implementation of the Action Plan and other nutrition interventions. The platform will also work to mobilize and engage other NGOs and relevant stakeholders at the national- and provincial- level to incorporate nutrition related interventions in their plans and projects.
Niger: Civil Society Platform on Nutrition to receive $428,0000
Funding to support a civil society platform in Niger will seek to build awareness and capacity for nutrition, particularly at the community-level; establishing and strengthening a multi-sectoral framework for scaling up nutrition; and mobilizing sufficient national and international funding for nutrition. The platform will strengthen the ability of civil society to coordinate on issues related to nutrition and conduct a unified outreach effort among government and donors. It is expected that 18 civil society representatives and organizations will sign an agreement and form a steering committee to lead coordination of the platform.
Uganda: Civil Society Coalition on Scaling Up Nutrition awarded $321,000
Civil society organizations have been influential in the establishment and implementation of the Uganda Nutrition Action Plan for 2011-2016 and roll-out of the plan presents an opportunity to drive progress on scaling up nutrition in the country. The establishment of the Uganda Civil Society Coalition on Scaling Up Nutrition (UCCO-SUN) will strengthen partnerships to advocate for increased policy development and resource allocation for improved nutrition outcomes. The project will also support capacity-building for CSO implementation efforts at the national and grassroots levels and enable monitoring and evaluation of nutrition investments and reporting on SUN activities.
The UK Government has reaffirmed their commitment to tackle hunger and malnutrition – confirming their promise to host a special event ahead of the G8 summit. This comes amid growing buzz around the launch of the new ‘Enough IF’ campaign to encourage governments to fulfill their commitments and take action to eradicate global malnutrition.
Prime Minister David Cameron released a message supporting the new campaign and confirmed the UK’s leadership in moving the agenda forward in 2013, building on commitments made at last year’s Olympic Hunger Summit hosted by the UK Government. Cameron said that he welcomes the NGO campaign, recognized that this is an issue that the UK public will be campaigning on this year and is determined that this Coalition Government will listen to their passion and lead the world.
The Prime Minister further confirmed that the UK would display this commitment by hosting a special event before the G8 summit, and emphasized his aim to see scientific innovation, better accountability by governments, the private sector doing more, and greater cooperation between governments, civil society and business. Cameron added that working together can help tackle undernutrition, prevent stunting and improve children’s life chances.
UK International Development Secretary, Justine Greening also spoke at the Parliamentary launch of the ‘Enough IF’ campaign, welcoming the support of the campaign in advancing public attention and support for eradicating malnutrition and hunger, and set out clear actions by the UK government to drive this agenda forward. She added that the battle to end hunger is central to the UK agenda in 2013 and beyond [and] with the help and momentum generated by the IF Campaign.Greening pledged that the UK would be the first country to meet their commitment to spend 0.7% of national income of development. She also echoed the Prime Minister’s commitment to build on the legacy of last year’s Olympic Hunger Summit and bring leaders together at a major event this summer to tackle undernutrtion, among other actions to drive progress forward in 2013 and towards the post-2015 development agenda.