Kathmandu, Nov 3 : The fifth Global Gathering on Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) is beginning here tomorrow, Monday. During the four-day gathering taking place for the first time in the South Asia, Nepal is all set to share with the international community about progress it has achieved so far in the nutrition sector and related future programmes as well.
In the mega event related to nutrition to be coordinated by the National Planning Commission (NPC), 1,200 representatives who include high political leadership, policy makers and representative from non-government offices from 80 countries including Nepal will be participating. As said by the NPC, all preparations required for the event which will witness altogether 25 separate sessions have been completed. It will conclude by issuing the Kathmandu Declaration going through in-depth discussions about the management and supply of financial resources to minimise the malnutrition issue. The gathering will fix a venue for the next meeting.
It may be noted that the National Planning Commission (NPC) had first time implemented the five-year multi-sectoral nutrition plan in 2013. With the successful implementation of the first project, the second plan is being implemented and it covers 610 local levels of 62 districts identified as the districts with a poor nutrition status. According to NPC Spokesperson Dr Kiran Rupakheti, the nutrition programmes mainly focused on education, health, agriculture and women groups have significantly contributed to scaling up nutrition level and thus combating malnutrition issues.
Nepal, as an active member of the Scaling of Nutrition Campaign, aims to broaden the nutrition-related programmes worldwide and end malnutrition in all its forms. According to Rupakheti, the first gathering was held in America in 2013, the second in Italy in 2014 which was followed by the third in Italy in 2015 and the fourth in Abidjan in 2017.
State of Nutrition and children in Nepal
According to the report titled 'The State of the World's Children 2019: Children, Food and Nutrition' published by UNICEF recently, 36 per cent of Nepali children below five years were stunted, 27 per cent under-weight, 1.2 per cent were overweight and 10 per cent of them were suffering from wasting (low weight for height). Likewise, the prevalence of women of reproductive age-group with obesity was recorded at 22 per cent while 17 per cent women of were under-weight. Another statistics shows that one every three children under five were either stunted or overweight or suffering from wasting across the world. Similarly, the Nepal National Micronutrient Status Survey -2016 that assessed micronutrients status among representative populations in Nepal had concluded that 32 per cent of the teenagers in the country were stunted due to the risk of food crisis.
Children and adolescents are being deprived of going to school due to acute poverty and malnutrition. The number of the stunted children in the privileged family among the representatives populations stood at 16.5 and around 50 per cent of the children coming from under-privileged communities is stunted.
It may be noted that President Bidya Devi Bhandari last Friday inaugurated the National Nutrition Campaign launched by the 'Baliyo Nepal'. The campaign aims to supply nutrition required for the children from six to 23 months, pregnant women and women of reproductive age through food.
Campaign national coordinator and NPC former vice chair Dr Swarnim Wagle underlined the need of increasing investment in nutrition sector and supplying nutritious and balanced diet to the people to tackle with the malnutrition issue and reduce the number of stunted people to 15 percent by 2030.