The return on investment in nutrition is high. So why are we failing to adequately invest in it?

Tuesday 17 February 2015

17th February 2015, Yangon -- Stunting is the human face of development. On average, for every dollar that governments around the globe invest in nutrition to reduce stunting, they see a return of 16 dollars in terms of sustainable development. So why do governments so often neglect to adequately invest in nutrition to ensure the health and wellbeing of their citizens?

Some progress has been made in Myanmar – 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% - but these numbers are insufficient to reach targets set and signed by 96 signatories at the World Health Assembly. Globally, only one—Colombia—is on course to meet four of the full six WHA targets by 2025.

These and other findings from the Global Nutrition Report—the first comprehensive look at nutrition data and indicators from the 193 United Nation members—will be analyzed with a view toward actionable solutions at the Global Nutrition Report Roundtable. Hosted by the Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance (SUN CSA) and Save the Children, the discussion with nutrition leaders will take place at Summit Parkview Hotel today at 2:30pm today.

“In Myanmar, 35% of children under age five are stunted, and over 70% of women of reproductive age are anaemic,” Dr San San Myint, Programme Manager for the SUN CSA said. “The cost of poor nutrition is high: premature death, stressed health systems, and a severe drag on economic progress. The challenge is how to prompt the government and civil society organisations to proactively embed nutrition not just into their health agendas, but also their agriculture, infrastructure, social protection and education agendas.”

This discussion is designed to ensure that the Global Nutrition Report becomes a call to action for nutrition so that civil society actors can begin to put nutrition at the top of their agendas. The report provides a wealth of information on the status of nutrition around the world—a great first step. Now it is time to act.

ENDS

FULL REPORT AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: http://globalnutritionreport.org

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, businesses and academics– in a collective action to improve nutrition. by 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