Nearly 40 civil society organisations pledge to join the Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance in Myanmar
At the launch of the Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance (SUN CSA) in Myanmar yesterday (17th Feb), nearly 40 civil society organisations pledged to join the movement to eradicate malnutrition in the country.
The event, hosted at the Summit Parkview Hotel in Yangon, Myanmar, saw over 80 participants present to hear about the SUN CSA’s ambition to help fulfill the National Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition 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.
The Government of Myanmar signed up to the movement in May 2013, demonstrating their commitment to deliver sustainable solution for addressing nutrition problems in Myanmar. So far the SUN CSA has signed on 15 members, including the National Nutrition Committee from the Myanmar Ministry of Health.
“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 is needed if we are to achieve our goal of eradicating malnutrition here,” said Dr San San Myint, Programme Manager for the SUN CSA.
Some progress has been made in the Southeast Asian country – the average annual reduction in stunting in children is reported to be1.8% while the average annual reduction in anaemia amongst women of reproductive age is 3.7%. However, to reach global targets agreed by 96 signatories at the World Health Assembly, Myanmar still has some ways to go.
Actions needed to achieve these goals were discussed at the Nutrition Roundtable, held after the SUN CSA launch. At the roundtable discussion, nutrition experts working around Myanmar came together to share their ideas of tackling malnutrition.
According to panel experts, the key actions needed are good, consistent and measurable data and an integrated approach to nutrition. As good nutrition programmes are best implemented in conjunction with key government and non-government programmes, such as agriculture, health, social protection and education, panel members say the onus is on all development stakeholders in contributing to national outcomes.
Dr San San Myint said: “That’s the role of the SUN CSA – to bring all development stakeholders together, give them a voice, and jointly contribute to achieving better nutrition outcomes for all mothers and children in Myanmar. We are calling for more civil society organisations to be a ray of the SUN CSA.”