Tom Arnoid the coordinator of the Scaling up Nutrition Movement (SUN) and Lawrence Haddad, senior research fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), shared with parliamentarians the importance of nutrition security as pro-development intervention.
Speaking at the two-day regional seminar on promoting child nutrition in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) they defined the scope of the problem, namely, the importance of scaling up nutrition
during the first 1 000 days of a child’s life. The two-day seminar, convened in Windhoek by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), ended on Tuesday and was attended by 75 delegates, among them members of parliament, representatives of civil society, NGOs and international development organisations.
The presenters also gave an overview of the situation and progress of malnutrition and stunting in various SADC
countries. Haddad underscored the importance of the five “Cs” in resolving the challenge of malnutrition. The five “Cs ” stand for Commitment, Coherence, Coverage, Cash and Collection of Data, which need governments,
businesses, donors, NGOs and citizens to cooperate closely.
Challenges and existing mechanisms/initiatives to promote nutrition This session provided an overview of malnutrition and stunting rates in the region and also highlighted examples from countries that have successfully
lowered stunting rates or successfully expanded coverage.
Presentations were made by Joan Matji, Nutritional Regional Advisor, UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa, Dr Vitalis Goodwell Chipfakacha, M.Sc Community Medicine Technical Advisor, SADC Secretariat, and Brigadier General Brian Chituwo, a member of parliament from Zambia. Dr Vitalis Goowel Chipfakacha called for a “paradigm shift” and he emphasised the importance of countries in the region promoting local food which are highly nutritious and affordable. He urged the parliamentarians to implement the SADC Food and Nutrition strategy.
Overcoming barriers to nutrition This session, which examined the reasons for the persistence of malnutrition (both stunting and obesity), identified what political, legislative, economic and other factors contribute to malnutrition.
The discussion covered various barriers to nutrition and focused on structural barriers such as institutional, legal, economic and other factors which contribute to malnutrition.
The panelists included former Namibian prime minister Nahas Angula who acknowledged there is still a challenge, as one of out of four children under the age of five is stunted. • Belinda Karuaera is a researcher/policy analyst at the