Gvt Urged To Make Realistic Commitments Towards Improving Nutrition Standards

THE Zimbabwe Civil Society Organisations Scaling Up Nutrition Alliance (ZCSOSUNA), has challenged government to make realistic and attainable nutrition targets ahead of the forthcoming 2020 Japan Nutrition for Growth summit.

By Michael Gwarisa

Addressing Journalists this morning, ZCSOSUNA Projects Officer, Kudzai Chavhunduka said government should take the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit  to be held in December  as a historic opportunity to transform the way the world tackles the global challenge of malnutrition.

As the country’s Civil Society Alliance in Scaling Up Nutrition, we applaud the government of Zimbabwe for making a commitment during the 2013 London Nutrition for Growth Summit, the commitment was aimed at putting nutrition at the centre of the country’s development agenda and making good nutrition one of the top political priorities as a way of facilitating increased domestic financing for nutrition.

“We are however concerned that there is no substantial report to provide information on the progress that has so far been made. According to the Global Nutrition Report 2019 Zimbabwe has made progress in meeting its 2013 commitments but there were challenges in assessing this progress due to language which was not clear and specific and also the tracking systems and capacity to track this progress was poor.

“It is against this background that we as the civil society are calling on the government to seize this perfect opportunity presented by Japan Nutrition for Growth 2020 Summit to make commitments which are Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound (SMART) and rejuvenate the fight against malnutrition,” said Chavhuduka.

she added that the year 2020 presents a perfect opportunity for government to renew its commitment towards the fight against malnutrition in all its forms.

“In December this year governments of several nations with support from the Japan government will convene and take stock of previous N4G commitments and the same platform will be used to renew and make new commitments towards improving the nutrition status of citizens.

“The Tokyo N4G summit provides a historic opportunity to transform the way the world tackles malnutrition. The summit signals the beginning of a new race toward a healthier, better-nourished future, a race to end malnutrition in all its forms in all countries and Zimbabwe cannot be left out. This comes at a critical time, with only 5 years to achieve the World Health Assembly targets on Maternal, Infant and Young Child nutrition and 10 years to reach the SDGs.”

The commitments to be made at the summit will focus on the following core areas – health, food, resilience, promoting data-driven accountability, securing new investment and driving innovation in nutrition.

ZCSOSUNA also called on government to: formulate SMART commitments which are in line with the summit’s core areas namely health, food, resilience, promoting data-driven accountability, securing new investment and driving innovation in nutrition. They also said government should periodically report on progress made in honouring the 2020 commitments.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe made a commitement  at the London Nutrition summit in 2019 to  addresses food and nutrition security in the context of economic growth and development and to ensure scaling up of food and nutrition security interventions as defined in the SUN framework, with a focus on 1000 days of life and maternal nutrition, with a national coverage of >80%, by 2020.

The government also committed too reduce stunting at least by 40% by 2025 and maintain low acute malnutrition status (<3%) as well as ensure strong national leadership to strengthen and develop high quality, validated and costed national nutrition plan by end of 2013, and mobilize domestic resources for its implementation.

Zimbabwe also pledged to honour existing global and regional commitments on allocations for social services (including health, agriculture, education and social protection) and ensure such investment is nutrition sensitive. We will commit to fully establish financial as well as outcome/impact tracking system of food and nutrition inZterventions by 2014.

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