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UN and Partnership Platform Commits to Eliminate Malnutrition in Central Asia

Thursday 26 July 2018

ASHGABAT (UN press service) — Eight member states of Central Asia and Caucasus supported by UNICEF, WHO, FAO and WFP committed to strengthen capacity and governance in improving the nutrition and food security status of the most vulnerable in the region last Saturday at the official launch of the Regional Nutrition Capacity Development and Partnership Platform.

The platform provides an opportunity for member states and UN Agencies in the region to come together towards a collective call for action on a nutrition agenda supporting governments in delivering on commitments of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Nutrition Platform members committed to accelerate progress towards meeting the SDGs, the global nutrition targets for United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition 2025 and the Noncommunicable Diseases Global Monitoring Framework.

“Children across the Region are facing the double burden of being obese or stunted,” said UNICEF Deputy Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia Philippe Cori:

I invite governments of Central Asia and Caucasus to position food security and nutrition higher in the development agenda, ensure increased investments and have dedicated and stronger trained workforce to eliminate the double burden of malnutrition and obesity. Investing in children’s nutrition is one of the most effective investments a country can make for its sustainable development.

The Platform aims to address all forms of malnutrition including stunting, obesity as well as micronutrient deficiencies. The current prevalence of child obesity in Central Asia is estimated to be the second highest globally (10.7 %), while the number of overweight under five-year-old children has doubled from 1.6 to 3.2 mln between 2000 to 2017.

Infant and young child feeding practices need to be addressed across the Region due to low quality diet and poor feeding practices during the first years of life.

This initiative will enhance capacity in the region under the following areas:

Functional, trained and specialized workforce for nutrition at education, policy and programming, and service delivery levels; Enhanced leadership and governance capacities in nutrition and food security; Accelerated and enhanced investment for food security and nutrition as a component to national development plans; Targeted and regional evidence generation and evidence based programming in nutrition to fight against the double burden of malnutrition; Inter-sectoral collaboration and integrated programming for improved nutrition results;

  • Improved accountability for results through strong nutrition information systems and harmonized monitoring, reporting and use of relevant disaggregated data;
  • Engagement of partners, community participation, social mobilization to reach underserved populations;
  • Promotion of the rights of women and children to live with dignity and equity;
  • Advocacy for accelerated action to benefiting determinants of healthy nutrition, including food intake, socioeconomic status, education, especially for girls;
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene; empowerment of women and gender equality, through multisectoral approach.

The two-day meeting concluded with official launch of the platform by adopting a joint statement with the Republic of Kazakhstan confirming they will chair the Platform for the next two years.

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