Turkmenistan Takes Up Chairmanship of Central Asia and Caucasus Regional Nutrition Capacity Development and Partnership Platform
Ashgabat, 15 April 2021- Today a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Government of Turkmenistan and UNICEF on the Central Asia and Caucasus Regional Nutrition Capacity Development and Partnership Platform thus commencing the Chairmanship of the Platform for the next two years. The Memorandum was signed at the high-level international conference on peace and trust hosted by the Government of Turkmenistan.
The foundations for this regional initiative date back to November 2014 when member states at the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) committed to eliminate malnutrition in all its forms and developed a common vision for collective action to address the targets set by SDG 2 to end hunger and improve food security and SDG 3 to improve health and reduce the burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCD). The UN General Assembly reinforced the ICN2 call for action through the relevant resolution and proclaimed 2016-2025 as the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition, thus establishing a timeframe to address all forms of malnutrition globally.
Regional calls for action have been followed with countries in Central Asia and Caucasus developing a regional mechanism to enhance capacities of key actors in nutrition jointly with WHO, FAO, WFP and led by UNICEF. The initial meeting in Ashgabat on 20-21 July 2018 launched the Regional Nutrition Capacity Development and Partnership Platform in Central Asia and Caucasus. The Platform is a systematic, multi-country partnership-oriented mechanism to develop the nutrition governance and food systems capacities in 8 countries in Central Asia and Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan). This initiative aims to equip countries to tackle better the multiple burden of malnutrition in the sub-region with a focus on the most vulnerable groups.
“UNICEF thanks the Government of Turkmenistan for its commitment in prioritizing children’s nutrition and food security in the region,” said Christine Weigand, UNICEF Representative in Turkmenistan. “The Regional Nutrition Partnership Platform has demonstrated that achievements at scale are possible, and this is evident in lower rates of stunting and an increase in exclusive breastfeeding. The regional approach will help in addressing remaining challenges, ensuring improved diets and enhanced coverage and quality of health and nutrition services for children.”
The priority pillars for the Regional Nutrition Partnership Platform are:
- Build the leadership and governance capacity in nutrition in the region.
- Strengthen regional policy advocacy for improved financing for nutrition results
- Better defining and positioning nutritional care services and needed workforce in PHC system
- Enhance the capacity of the nutrition workforce with the right set of knowledge, skills and competencies
- Reinforce the multi-system approach at country level utilizing health, food, education, social protection and water and sanitation systems to address the double burden of the malnutrition
- Collaborate region-wide to generate applied evidence and share lessons learned and replicable good practices on evidence-informed policy making and programming.
- Improved information systems, research infrastructure in nutrition and systematic knowledge and experience exchange across the region and with neighbouring regions
UNICEF will continue supporting the Government of Turkmenistan during its two-year Chairmanship of the Platform and work together with the governments in Central Asia and Caucasus jointly with WHO, FAO and WFP in delivering on commitments of the SDGs to ensure food security, eradicate malnutrition and make important investments in children’s nutrition.
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.