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Multi-sectoral Commitment to Improve Maternal and Child Nutrition

© UNICEF Nepal/2012/KPandey
Vice chair of NPC puts in the first signature in the Declaration of Commitment

Kathmandu, 17 September 2012:  National Planning Commission (NPC), seven Ministries and other key stakeholders signed a Declaration of Commitments to Accelerate Improvement of Maternal and Child Nutrition in Nepal at a function organized in Singha Durbar this afternoon. 

The signatories of the Commitment included the Vice Chair of NPC, senior representatives from the Ministries of Health and Population, Agriculture and Development, Education, Urban Development, Federal Affairs and Local Development, and Children and Women’s Affairs, and Finance. Other signatories included UNICEF Representative on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, and the Renewed Efforts for Ending Child Hunger and Under-Nutrition (UN REACH, a joint program of WHO, UNICEF, WFP, FAO);  the Chairperson  of the Nepal Nutrition Group, Representative of WHO on behalf of the external development partners related to the health sector;  Steering Committee Member of the Association of INGOs ; and the Vice President of FNCCI representing the Private sector.

NPC and the key Ministries – including Health and Population, Agriculture and Development, Education, Urban Development, Federal Affairs and Local Development, and Children and Women’s Affairs, and Finance have developed a Multi-sector Nutrition Plan 2013-2017 (2023) for accelerated reduction of chronic malnutrition in women and children for Nepal.  The Plan was approved by the Council of Ministers in June 2012, and it will be launched within a week. 

UNICEF has provided lead technical support to the NPC, with funding from the European Union (EU), through its Regional Maternal and Young Child Nutrition in South Asia (MYCNSIA) project, which is covering five countries in addition to Nepal. 

© UNICEF Nepal/2012/KPandey
national and international representatives following the signing ceremony of the Declaration of Commitment to accelerate the Improvement of Maternal and Child Nutrition in Nepal

About 41 per cent of children under-five years of age in Nepal are suffering from stunting or low height for age, which is a measure of chronic under-nutrition.  The consequences of stunting are serious, irreversible and lifelong.  It is estimated that at least 35 per cent of child deaths are attributable to under-nutrition.  Those who survive malnutrition face increased risk of non-communicable diseases; their physical growth and cognitive development are impaired; they attend school less and perform more poorly than their well-nourished peers. 

The first thousand days of life, that is from conception to two years of age, is the critical window of opportunity, when young children lose their chance to thrive cognitively and physically if poorly nourished.  The Nepal multi-sector nutrition plan (MSNP) focuses its intervention during the first 1,000 days of life.  It aims improve women’s access to essential nutrition services during pregnancy and children before the age of two, mainly through health sector. The MSNP also involves other non-health sectors to address the underlying and basic social and economic determinants of under-nutrition, for sustained results.

Nepal has been recognized internationally for this remarkable progress and commitment to accelerate reduction of chronic malnutrition in women and children by the UN effort on Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, and is considered as one of 30 SUN countries.  REACH will support the NPC to strengthen multi-sector nutrition coordination, enhance multi-sector nutrition capacity and monitoring systems, and contribute support to modeling of MSNP in selected districts.
 
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For more Information, please contact:
Mr. Prakash Dahal
The National Planning Commission, Social Development Division
Phone Number 4211757

 

 

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