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Nepal, a focus of the High Level Panel on Resilience: The Nutrition Dimension at the European Development Days

© EDD/2012
Mr. Radha Krishna Pradhan, Programme Director for Health and Nutrition, National Planning Commission (NPC), speaking during the event
Kathmandu, 16th October, 2012:  This year’s European Development Days, held today in Brussels, Belgium put a spotlight on nutrition and showcased Nepal’s successes through a High Level Panel (HLP) live stream discussion on “RESILIENCE: THE NUTRITION DIMENSION.”  The Panel which focuses on the nutritional dimension of building resilience, featured Mr. Radha Krishna Pradhan, Programme Director for Health and Nutrition, Social Development Division, National Planning Commission (NPC) as one of the panellists.  Mr. Pradhan shared the country’s successful experience in developing the first ever costed multi-sector nutrition plan (2013-2017), under the lead of the NPC and involving five key Ministries of Health and Population, Education, Agriculture and Development, Urban Development, Federal Affairs and Local Development.  The Multi Sector Nutrition Plan (MSNP) was recently launched by His Excellency the Prime Minister of Nepal on 20th September 2012.  The MSNP aims to tackle the remaining challenge of stunting, affecting 41% of all children under-five years of age, with grave, irreversible and life-long consequences on survival, growth and development. Technical lead support towards the formulation of the plan was provided by UNICEF with European Union funding as part of the joint Regional project on Maternal and Young Child Nutrition Security in South Asia, in the amount of 3.5 million Euros.  

Showcasing Nepal’s nutrition interventions that have been proven effective in reducing deaths and improving quality of life which are also smart economic investments, Mr. Pradhan said, “Nepal is an active member of the Global Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement and has made commitment to scale up those proven and highly cost-effective nutrition- specific and sensitive interventions for sustained results.”  

Some of the achievements and progress made by Nepal in the area of nutrition, which have helped to reduce maternal and child mortality that Mr. Pradhan highlighted during the HLP included the over 90% coverage of vitamin A supplementation to children (6-59 months); de-worming among children (12-59 months); 80%  coverage of households with adequately iodized salt;  and the supplementation of iron folic acid to pregnant and lactating women.
© EDD2012
Group of Panellists during the High Level Panel on Resilience: The Nutrition Dimension at the European Development Days

Noting that the time was ripe to root out the problem of chronic under-nutrition Mr. Pradhan strongly recommended that nutrition be a central core area of the EU multi-year plan 2014-2020.

Francesca Mosca, Director, Sub-Saharan Africa and Horizontal ACP Matters, Directorate General for Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid, European Commission said "It is unbearable that so many children are dying from malnutrition. The time to act is yesterday, not tomorrow. That is what the European Commission has been doing. We have been extremely involved in the SUN movement, [and] the Scaling Up Nutrition movement. I think it was the first time that all the actors were together: private sector, public sector, donors and partner countries."

The HLP also examined the policy areas, programme interventions and actors that need to be involved. Finally, it discussed how all the relevant stakeholders can work together to achieve results and address the financial resources to counter chronic under nutrition, in view of the ongoing budgetary discussions on the European Union’s Multiannual Financial Framework for 2014-2020.

Other panelists at the HLP included:  Tom Arnold, Chief Executive of Concern Worldwide and Member of the Lead Group of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement; Paulus Verschuren, Special Envoy for Food & Nutrition Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands (Former Senior Director, Partnership Development Group, Unilever Foods, The Netherlands) among others.  It was co-organized by United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), Concern Worldwide, Development Policy Forum (DPF), International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (IF), Save the Children.

For more information:
Mr. John Brittain, Chief of Communications, UNICEF Nepal. Ph: 9851054140



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