UN scribe hails progress in scaling up nutrition

New York, US (PANA) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday commended the recent achievements in push for maternal and child nutrition while renewing the call to
achieve zero hunger

PANA reports that Ban made the call at a high-level meeting with Heads of State, civil society and private sector representatives and other government and UN officials on the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement.

SUN is a global push for action to improve the nutrition of all, especially women and children.  

With the recent additions of Burundi and Kenya, SUN now includes 30 countries that are dedicating their efforts to strengthening nutrition. These countries are home to 56 million children suffering from stunted growth due to chronic malnutrition, representing more than one-quarter of the world’s stunted children.

``I commend the achievements of the SUN Movement. Thirty countries have now put nutrition at the heart of their approach to development and more than 56 million stunted children have a better chance to grow more strong and healthy,” he said.

He noted that, ``SUN is rallying governments, civil society, the private sector and international donors. Many of the countries who have joined the Movement have demonstrated that progress is possible, even in the face of economic, climatic and political challenges''.
He said that, ``supporters of the SUN Movement focus on implementing solutions that directly improve nutrition, such as support for breastfeeding or ensuring access to essential vitamins and minerals as well as efforts that have a broader influence on nutrition''.

``It also seek at empowering women or improving farming practices to increase accessibility of nutrient-rich crops,'' the UN chief added.  

In April 2012, UN Secretary-General appointed 27 global leaders to the SUN Lead Group to help the diverse efforts of SUN countries.  

The SUN Lead Group includes Heads of State, as well as representatives of development agencies, civil society, business and UN organizations that are providing strategic support to scale up nutrition.

Also speaking, Anthony Lake, Chairman of the SUN Movement Lead Group and Executive Director of UNICEF, said: ``Stunting is not just a challenge, but a huge opportunity. And preventing stunting is one of the single most cost-effective interventions in breaking the cycle of poverty''.

Lake stated that, ``recent data from countries like Ethiopia, Rwanda, Peru and others show that we can reduce stunting with the right policies and programmes, the right investments and of course a commitment to action''.

``The momentum of the SUN Movement must now be matched by tangible results to put the world’s youngest and most vulnerable on the path to a better future,'' he stressed.

PANA learnt that the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement is closely aligned with the ‘Zero Hunger Challenge’ launched by the UN Secretary-General in June of this year.  

The Challenge invites everyone to be boldly ambitious as we work for a future where everyone enjoys their right to food and all food systems are resilient.  

The Challenge has five elements: to end malnutrition in pregnancy and early childhood, to achieve 100 per cent access to adequate food all year round, to make all food systems sustainable, to double the productivity and income of smallholders, particularly women and to achieve a zero waste or loss of food.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 27Sept2012

27 september 2012 19:32:29

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