05 October 2012

Reply from David Nabarro to October 3 Post

Here is a response from David Nabarro to my October 3 post (it was too long to post as a comment) 

David is the UN Secretary General's Special Representative on Food and Nutrition, and an inspiration to many of us.

He is also good at coining dodgy expressions (see third line from the end). 

My final thought on the Congress (I promise): it was a pity that so few of the international or global nutrition community were here to meet the African nutrition professionals who actually will make SUN a success (or not). A missed opportunity. 

October 4

Dear Lawrence

I am so pleased to read your blog from the African Nutrition Conference. 

Last week the SUN Movement Secretariat was immersed in meetings of the SUN Movement Lead Group, Networks, Country Government Focal Points and others in New York.  We met with the 30 SUN country Government Focal Points on 26th and 28th September.   There is good buy in within countries. Governments are at the centre.  We see major involvement of civil society, donors and foundations, the UN system, development banks and the research community at country level and globally.  The Movement is open to all countries.  Countries that engage usually make a political commitment at highest level to scale up nutrition.  They identify a government official with the capacity to convene across sectors and actors. They work with multiple stakeholders on both immediate and structural causes of malnutrition.  They are encouraged to work towards a single set of expected results and to match their political ambitions with adequate resources. There are NO formal conditions for engagement. 

At the UN Secretary-General's High Level meeting on Scaling Up Nutrition on September 27th (worth watching at http://webtv.un.org/watch/high-level-meeting-on-scaling-up-nutrition/1864981615001/)we heard from many committed leaders, with a significant group from Africa.  They include Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Coordinating Minister of the Economy in Nigeria; Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO of NEPAD and Mozambique's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Oldemiro Baloi.   South Africa has so much to offer to countries scaling up nutrition from all over the world - both as a resource centre and as a country which is actively addressing its own nutrition challenges.  Jay Naidoo is one of the 27 members of the SUN Lead Group which undertakes stewardship of the Movement on behalf of those at risk of malnutrition in SUN countries.  The Lead Group - chaired by Anthony Lake of UNICEF - met on the 27th September morning. 

Recent figures suggest that there are 165 million stunted children and more than 2 billion with micronutrient deficiency in today's world.  The outcomes being sought within the SUN Movement are determined within each SUN country and tend to include (a) better access to water, sanitation, public health facilities, nutritious foods; (b) empowered autonomous women with an understanding of ways to optimize nutrition, and the opportunity to feed and care for themselves and their children (including exclusive breast feeding to six months, complementary feeding, adequate nutrition in pregnancy); (c) improved growth rates (and a reduction in low birth weight and child stunting) and (d) reduced micronutrient malnutrition.   Progress is being monitored within SUN countries by Governments, validated through standardized surveys with information collated by the World Health Organization.  Global targets for some of these outcomes were agreed by nations at the World Health Assembly in May 2012.  The efforts of SUN countries will certainly contribute to the realization of these targets.  Care is being taken to chart the average annual rate of reduction in stunting across SUN countries and to relate this to (a) their state of preparedness to scale up, and (b) commitments being made and fulfilled.  This aspect of the Movement's work needs more emphasis during the next 12 months. 

A central feature of the SUN Movement is its focus on ensuring that the effort to scale up nutrition empowers all people to have more control over the way they nourish themselves and their dependents, and on their capacity to use the nutrients that are consumed.  This means paying attention to hygiene, water, sanitation, access to health care, women's time and autonomy, as well as access to nutrient and energy rich foods especially in the 1000 days between the start of pregnancy and second birthday.  The principles of the SUN Movement include a commitment by all who join to combining improved coverage of specific nutrition interventions with nutrition-sensitive strategies across all development sectors.  There is strong emphasis on nutrition-sensitive agriculture and social protection - enabling people to access nutritious foods all year round at an affordable price - and on contributing to all people being able to realize their right to nutritious food. 

Within SUN countries, it is clear that four processes are important.  First:  functioning, people-centred multi-stakeholder platforms, Second: agreed strategies and legislative frameworks, Third: a single set of expected results around which different groups align, and Fourth: mobilizing additional resources (and capacity) in support of effective actions to realize these results.  The Country Government Focal Points are tracking these processes within their countries and discussed this when we were in New York.

SUN Countries are heightening their advocacy efforts for improved nutrition. They are raising awareness of nutrition at local government level and at central level holding highly visible SUN launches. The SUN Advocacy and Communications Team of global advocates met on 28th and will continue to ensure that nutrition is headlined at key international events. The new SUN website was launched on 27th September to provide a space for SUN countries and improve communication throughout the entire SUN Movement.  (www.scalingupnutrition.org)

All those who join the Movement - including civil society organizations and businesses - contribute within the principles of the movement.  These include ensuring that countries are at the lead and respecting national legislative codes.  Other principles are set out in the latest SUN Movement Report (http://scalingupnutrition.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/SUN-PROGRESS-REPORT-FINAL-2.pdf).  I also send you the Strategy for the Movement (agreed by the SUN Lead Group on 27th September 2012) which provides additional information - http://scalingupnutrition.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/SUN-MOVEMENT-STRATEGY-ENG.pdf).  

An emerging feature of the SUN movement is the application of learning for more effective action - through sharing of experiences among SUN Countries, Networks and the Lead Group. This was evident during the meetings last week.  The focus was on the four in-country processes and on how they are being taken forward within different country settings (including at the State or District levels).  This is a key feature of the 'how you make it happen’ dimension of the SUN Movement.

I think many within the SUN Movement would agree with the five bullets at the end of your "Hadeclaration".  I did not hear much diplomatic language during the SUN meetings in New York last week.  All within the movement are eager to intensify progress and support countries as they demonstrate results. 

Warm regards as always



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Unknown said...

I hope that they can fully develop a plan that can help kids about children nutrition so we can decrease malnutrition. One factor that I see that can cause malnutrition is junk food and other unhealthy processed food produced by some famous companies.

Unknown said...

Yes, actually a resident physician in an urgent care tempe also told me that, as time goes by she worries that children might have an option to not eat what they must because they prefer to eat what is delicious and what they like. That's why I think, UNICEF's campaign regarding global nutrition is very timely especially now that a lot of junk foods and fastfods are emerging in the market.

Unknown said...

My job as a occupational hygienist is not to only give advise to everyone but also to tell people who are coming in at our clinic to have a good nutrition. Because good nutrition constitutes to a good hygiene especially to children.

Unknown said...

I've accompanied my son to a nearby Everett walk in clinic because I fear that he is lacking the right nutrients his body needs to have. He always eat junk foods and prefers it over fruits and veggies.

Unknown said...

According to some online doctor prescriptions, they are now focused on child care. They noticed that the environment is exposing these kids with different food stuff that they think won't even be helpful on the child's growth. Thank goodness they are now acting on it.

Unknown said...

I envy you. Exchanging messages with the person that I really look up to. All I wanted was to be in the food and drug industry. Well look at myself, the one thing that I did that was related to the field is to buy prescription drugs online.

Unknown said...

My sister who’s currently working at hospice services also told me that I should always check on my son’s eating habits, because proper guidance is still the best solution and protection for child’s healthcare and to avoid major complications when they get old.

Claire Bridgeford said...

The ones who are greatly affected by the food injustice are the children. They should also ensure that the people have control over the nutrients they receive, specially the youth because they're the future. Teach them how to choose proper healthy foods over the unhealthy ones.

Joel Franklin said...

I’ve been reading a lot of helpful materials from David about nutrition. And I’m glad that I read some of it, it really helped me improve my diet. Actually that’s the first thing that I did, to read some materials related to nutrition before I purchase Viagra; according to our family doctor, tracking your nutrition/food intake could actually help you gain better results effectively with this med.

Macey Miles said...

I hope they continue to make headway with this endeavor. Not only will it have a direct effect on the end-clients, but will permeate into other sectors that relate to those clients, such as family practice, primary care, pediatrics, and the like.

Tia Boyle said...

I like how David Nabarro addresses his speeches. He talks about a delicate issue but presents it in a light manner. I'm not saying that he takes matters lightly, he just talks relaxed but with a sense of urgency. Its like telling the people that anything can be solved and there should be no room for panic.

Gary Jackson said...

It's good to know that there are people like them with such informative article writing. A kind of article like this one is such an aye opener with what is happening with the world we are living today.

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