Collective effort needed to achieve Myanmar’s National Plan of action for food and Nutrition; Civil Society Organisations to join the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement

Tuesday 17 February 2015

(17th Feb 2015) – The Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance (SUN CSA) launches today at the Summit Parkview Hotel from 9:00am to 12:00pm, calling on civil society organisations to join the movement to eradicate malnutrition in Myanmar. 

Across the country, at least 1 in 3 children under age five are stunted, which means they are too short for their age. In some parts of the country, more than half of children are stunted. Stunting at a young age can result in irreparable damage on a child’s physical and mental development. Among pregnant women, over 70 per cent are found to be anaemic, which means mothers do not have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body and to the baby. All these affect the country’s sustainable development.

“We know that investing in nutrition works. On average, for every dollar that governments around the globe invest in nutrition to reduce stunting, they see a return of 16 times as much due to increased productivity,” said Dr San San Myint, programme manager for the SUN CSA, currently hosted by Save the Children. 

“However, as individual organisations serving mothers and children around the country, we have not been able to tackle the prevalence of stunting, wasting and anaemia in Myanmar. A collective effort across all civil society organisations in support of the National plan of action for food and nutrition is needed if we are to achieve our goal of eradicating malnutrition in Myanmar.”

The Myanmar government set out their National plan of action for food and for the country in 2013, with the aim of reducing child stunting from 35 per cent to 30 per cent; and the number of anaemic women from 70 per cent to 60 per cent by 2016, among other goals.

Dr San San Myint said: “We have seen some success in improving the nutrition status of women and children in recent years, so we know that better nutrition for all is possible. We are calling on civil society organisations to join us in our commitment to scale up nutrition in Myanmar.”

ENDS

NOTES:

The Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement is a global movement led by countries. It is a renewed effort to eliminate all forms of malnutrition, based on the principle that everyone has a right to food and good nutrition. The Movement is unique by bringing different groups of people together – governments, civil society, the United Nations, donors, business and scientists – in a collective action to improve nutrition. Through working together, we are achieving what no one of us can do alone. 

In May 2013, the Government of Myanmar signed up to the SUN Global Movement, clearly demonstrating high-level ownership and responsibility for delivering sustainable solutions for addressing the nutrition problems. To support the SUN, Save the Children received pledged funding to support the formation of a functioning SUN cross-sectoral Civil Society Alliance (CSA). The goal of the CSA is to unite civil society organizations to ensure a voice is given to a range of small, independent, regional and national organizations, so that they may contribute to the national dialogue and achievement of Scaling Up Nutrition priorities.

Members of SUN CSA include: 

  1. National Nutrition Committee, Department of Health
  2. Action Contre La Faim (ACF)
  3. Better Life Organisation
  4. CESVI
  5. Food Security Working Group (FSWG)
  6. Green Network (Magway)
  7. Helen Keller International
  8. International Organisation for Migration (IOM)
  9. International Rescue Committee (IRC)
  10. MAGNA
  11. MEET
  12. Myanmar Nurses and Midwife Association (MNMA)
  13. Myanmar Women’s Cooperative Society
  14. PACT Myanmar
  15. PATH
  16. Plan Myanmar
  17. Save the Children
  18. Terres des homes
  19. Welt Hunger Hlife
  20. World Vision