New studies: More investment and coordination needed to advance progress in ending childhood malnutrition

22 June 2021
A mother feeding her baby
UNICEF/UN219011/ACQUAH

Accra, 22 June 2021 - New findings released today revealed that the biggest challenge to tackling childhood malnutrition in Ghana is inadequate government direct investment in nutrition programming. Unless more investment is made and coordination is improved, progress toward reaching 2025 targets will stall or risk becoming even more off track.

The findings are the result of ongoing studies: Landscape Analysis of Nutrition Enabling Environment in Ghana and Nutrition Mapping: Report on Multi-Sectoral Planning and Coordination for Nutrition in Ghana.   Currently, Ghana has no system for tracking nutrition expenditure. While some Government of Ghana policies have strong potential to enhance nutrition outcomes across the lifecycle, there needs to be better coordination across Government policies for the Ghana to meet its national nutrition goals.

The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) in collaboration with United States, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Advancing Nutrition Ghana activity, and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have commissioned these two studies of which preliminary findings were released today at a learning event to validate the findings.

Experts reiterated that Ghana is set to achieve the 2025 World Health Assembly targets in the reduction of the number of children under five who are stunted (low height for age), the reduction of anaemia in women of reproductive age, as well as lowering the number children who are overweight. However, Ghana will not reach its target of reducing the number of children with low birthweight and is also in danger of not meeting the target to reduce childhood wasting (low weight for height).

The learning event served as a platform for national dialogue to help stakeholders agree on recommendations on how to enhance multi-sectoral coordination to achieve sustainable food and nutrition security impact for Ghana. Participants included government ministries, departments, and agencies; development partners; academia; civil society; the private sector; and the media.

The discussions were also shaped by the experiences of Japan in their efforts to strengthen multi-sectoral nutrition funding, coordination, leadership, and governance. The NDPC and its partners will integrate the outcome of the discussions into a roadmap and a Food and Nutrition Security Toolkit for strengthening governance and multi-sectoral coordination of food and nutrition security in Ghana.

Media contacts

E. Offeibea Baddoo
Communication Officer
Tel: +233 24 466 3643

About USAID Advancing Nutrition

USAID Advancing Nutrition is USAID’s flagship multi-sectoral nutrition project that seeks to improve the nutritional status and health of populations around the globe who are vulnerable to malnutrition. In Ghana, the project provides technical support and assessment services to advance the Government of Ghana’s efforts to improve district planning for equitable delivery of services that promote household resilience and early childhood growth and development. It is implemented in 17 districts in Northern Ghana. Learn more at: www.advancingnutrition.org

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.

Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook