Scaling Up Nutrition Movement February 2013

Nutrition in the Post-MDG’s: Private Sector Consultation- Tuesday 26 February 2013, 5:30PM CET

Business leaders will be holding a discussion that will feed in to the Post-2015 UN development agenda consultation led by the UN High Level Panel on Post-2015 Development. The discussion will focus on how nutrition should be prioritized in the Post-2015 UN development agenda, and the ways in which the private sector can effectively engage in the new framework to help end malnutrition.


National Civil Society Platforms in Ghana and Mali Awarded Funding via SUN MTPF

National Civil Society Platforms in Ghana and Mali have recently been awarded $375,000 each through the SUN Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF).

 About the SUN 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 streams 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 December 2012, national civil society platforms in five SUN countries Bangladesh, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger and Uganda received over $2.1 million in funds to support their collaborative efforts to scale up nutrition.

 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 $749,000 have been approved to support mobilization and alignment of civil society in advancing SUN Movement activities in three SUN countries:

 Ghana: $374,000 January 2013 to December 2015

 The purpose of the current project is to initiate and facilitate active and sustained CSO engagement in nutrition issues in Ghana that will ultimately result in improved nutrition outcomes in the country. The grant seeks to do this through the framework of a coalition. Currently, there are many CSOs implementing a variety of nutrition activities in Ghana. The CSO coalition is expected to harmonize and coalesce the different shades of CSO advocacy activities to ensure coherence and unity in achieving optimal outcomes in nutrition


The proposal seeks to establish a solid CSO platform; to ensure this space is used a basis for common messaging and a national awareness raising campaign to support the SUN Movement and the 1000 days campaign. It is envisioned that these efforts will help to establish nutrition as both a health and developmental priority issue, evidences by the adoption  and implementation of a strong National Nutrition Policy supported through appropriate budgetary allocation by the  government and other stakeholders.

Mali: $374,000 January 2013 to December 2015

Given the attention nutrition has recently received in Mali through the National Nutrition Forum and the establishment of a SUN Government Focal Point for nutrition, the timing is ideal for civil society to take on a more significant role in  advocating for continued political commitment for, investment in, and planning of nutrition service delivery.

With this project, the Civil Society Alliance will therefore strengthen the capacity, coordination, and effectiveness of Malian civil society to advocate for nutrition in a multi-sectoral manner that engages both the public and private sectors. While many Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) implement nutrition programs in country, their experience in advocacy, and particularly in nutrition advocacy, is limited. Moreover, partnerships among CSOs implementing nutrition programs with the broader non-health civil society community are lacking. A common voice on nutrition with a consistent message communicated by multiple stakeholders is urgently needed to ensure continued and expanded support for nutrition.


The project aims to improve the structural environment for Nutrition Advocacy; build the capacity of Malian Civil Society to influence and advance the nutrition policy agenda and establish national and community-level nutrition policy campaigns to include nutrition in national policies and programs, including the Strategic Framework for Growth and Poverty Reduction (CSCRP 2012-2017)

Nutrition Launch Event in Mali Focuses on Cross-sector Action and Commitment to SUN

 On 31 January 2013, Mali held an official launch to showcase its activities with UN REACH and the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement as well as to raise awareness on the multi-sectoral aspects of nutrition.

The opening ceremony was chaired by the Minister of Health, Mr. Soumana Makadji with the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Baba Berthe at his side. The ceremony also involved senior representation from the United Nations system including the World Food Program, UNICEF, the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization.

In his keynote address, the Minister of Health reaffirmed the priority role of nutrition within his department, and highlighted the significant role of the recently adopted National Policy of Nutrition which will, “contribute to ensuring that each and every Malian enjoys satisfactory nutritional status and well-being to enable them to contribute to national development.”


The purpose of the event was to inform all stakeholders of the importance of nutrition, the role of the SUN Movement and UN REACH, as well as to explain and deepen understanding of the interactions between these two initiatives.

 The launch ceremony was followed by a series of presentations, a panel presentation by representatives of the UN Agencies working together through UN REACH and an open discussion among attendees.


Key recommendations coming out of the event included a call to urgently develop a multi-sectoral action plan in line with the National Policy of Nutrition; integration of nutrition into training curricula; conduct a study on the feasibility of  free primary care related to malnutrition for children under five years; work closely with the media to widely disseminate information on nutrition; conduct advocacy with parliamentarians; and for all key ministries to commit to a multi-sectoral approach to improving nutrition.

 SUN Movement Lead Group Member Ms Helene Gayle and Benin Government Focal Point Jean Tossa brief partners and the media on the importance of nutrition and the SUN Movement

 On 21 February 2013, Benin’s National Council of Food and Nutrition, CARE International Benin/Togo and UNICEF Benin came together to organize an event on the SUN Movement. SUN Government Focal Point and Director of the Food and Nutrition Council Mr. Jean Cokou Tossa explained the scale of the nutrition challenge in Benin and explained the role of the SUN movement. Helene Gayle, President / Director of CARE USA and SUN Lead Group Member, called  on all stakeholders – government, communities, international organizations, NGOs and the donor community to take  action and ensure accountability for progress on nutrition.

 Burundi to receive support from the European Union to tackle malnutrition

During a recent visit to Burundi (21-22nd February) EU Commissioner for Development and SUN Movement Lead Group Member, Andris Piebalgs, announced an €18 million new project on food security for the benefit of around  20,000 households and to treat 80,000 undernourished children in the country.

 The initiative of the European Union "Accelerate the Achievement of MDG 1c for Burundi 2015" represents a great opportunity to support the commitments of the Government for the eradication of malnutrition and food insecurity. The project activities will focus on: improving the availability and quality of food by supporting agricultural production; improving access to food by facilitating market access and the development of certain agricultural activities - as well as to improve the nutritional status of populations.