Gambia

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On 18 July 2011, the Republic of The Gambia joined the SUN Movement with a letter of commitment from HE Aja Isatou Njie-Saidy, the Vice President. At the time, The Gambia had established a National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) in 2000 under the Office of the Vice President as per the National Nutrition Policy (2000 – 2004). In Gambia, nutrition had been recognised as high priority in the socio-economic development agenda.

Progress

Bringing people together
79% 2016

Bringing people together

Coherent policy and legal framework
96% 2016

Coherent policy and legal framework

Aligning programs around a Common Results Framework
40% 2016

Aligning programs around a Common Results Framework

Financial tracking and resource mobilization
54% 2016

Financial tracking and resource mobilization

TOTAL
67% 2016

TOTAL

Nutrition situation

24.5%

Under Five Stunting

10.2%

Low Birth Weight

46.8%

0-5 Months Exclusive Breastfeeding

11.5%

Under Five Wasting

2.7%

Under Five Overweight

45.3%

Woman Anaemia 15-49 years

5.8%

Adult Blood Glucose (Diabetes)

32.5%

Adult Overweight

10.9%

Adult Obesity

Strategic objectives

The Gambia has functional Multi-Stakeholder Platforms. The political leadership engages through the National Nutrition Council (NNC), chaired by the Vice-President, while the National Nutrition Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) brings together representatives from ministries, academia, civil society and the UN since 2012. Various working groups are in place, such as the Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM) and social behaviour change communication (SBCC) for health and nutrition technical working groups. Overall, there is a need to enhance the participation of civil society, academia and the private sector in the coordination platforms.

Last updated: December 2016

2015

The Gambia is committed at the highest level to addressing the issue of undernutrition. The Vice-President and Minister of Women’s Affairs, H.E. Aja Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy is a committed supporter of efforts to scale up nutrition in the Gambia. The National Nutrition Agency (NaNA), under the Office of the Vice President, is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the implementation of the National Nutrition Policy (2010- 2020) and reports directly to the National Assembly. NaNA convenes all relevant Government sectors through the National Nutrition Council that is chaired by the VicePresident.
The Gambia seeks to improve the involvement of ministries mandated on nutrition. Thematic sub-groups have been established: Maternal and Child Health Nutrition; Micronutrient Deficiency Control; Information, Education and Communication; Monitoring and Evaluation and Resource Mobilisation).

The Gambia has plans to decentralise coordination mechanisms, however stronger involvement of key nutrition related ministries is needed.

A multi-sectoral Nutrition Technical Advisory Committee was established in 2012 and is comprised of stakeholders from the public sector, civil society and development partners. The Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (TANGO) is a body of NGOs with around 80 national and international members to influence policy and decision-makers who galvanise efforts for scaling up nutrition in the country.

Last updated: October 2015

Since the Gambia updated its National Nutrition Policy 2010-2020, the country has mainstreamed nutrition into various sectorial policies, including the new Education Policy 2015-2025. The 2005 Food Act has been put into practice, through the Breastfeeding Promotion Regulation, Food Fortification and Salt Iodisation Regulation. Nutrition is integrated into the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and other UN agency country programmes.

Last updated: December 2016

2015

The Gambia has updated its National Nutrition Policy (2010-2020) (NNP) and validated a costed National Nutrition Strategic Plan (2011-2015) (NNSP) and Business Plan for Better Nutrition. Nutrition relevant policies and legislations are in place in key sectors including agriculture, poverty reduction, health and education.
The Gambia has a National Gender and Women Empowerment Policy (2010-2020) and a Women’s Act 2010 that provide for the minimum recommended maternity leave of six months. The Ministry of Agriculture is integrating nutrition into its own programs. Efforts to mainstream nutrition into policies across the board will be accelerated, in consultation with NaNA.

With a growing involvement of the private sector, standards and capacities for food safety and quality have been updated with attention to food processing, packaging and labeling. A new Food Safety and Quality Act (2011) has been enacted and the Food Safety and Quality Authority established to coordinate the implementation of the Act. The Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes is fully translated into law (the Breastfeeding Promotion Regulations 2006).

Last updated: October 2015

The Multi-Stakeholder Platform has proposed to create a Common Results Framework (CRF) after the ongoing revision of the National Nutrition Policy 2010-2020 and the Nutrition Strategic Plan. This will build on the 2015 nutrition bottleneck analysis, the Nutrition Governance Country Implementation Plan – developed with the support of the UN Renewed Efforts Against Child Hunger and Undernutrition (REACH) initiative – and a mapping exercise that will begin in November 2016, aiming to identify stakeholders, target beneficiaries, and nutrition-sensitive or nutritionspecific actions, among other things.

Last updated: December 2016

2015

To monitor progress against the NNP and NNSP, the Gambia has developed a monitoring and evaluation framework for 2011-2015.
The NNSP, which contains the First 1,000 Most Critical Days Program is due for review which will include more inputs for nutrition. This will be reviewed along with the midterm review of the NNP. The review of both documents will lead to the development of a comprehensive multisectoral strategic plan for nutrition, this will be the Common Results Framework that aligns sectoral programs and builds capacity in The Gambia, for implementation of their nutrition programs.

A National Nutrition Communication Strategy has been finalised to align communications efforts for all stakeholders. Large-scale programs and systems are in place but not yet at full scale. The Gambia is scaling up interventions for the management of severe and moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) and interventions that improve household consumption of iodised salt and the uptake of foods rich in micronutrients.

Last updated: October 2015

The costed National Nutrition Strategy helps identify resources and funding gaps for nutrition. It has also been used by partners to determine the support needed for interventions, although it expired in 2015. There is a need for the Government to use the updated Strategy to guide national
nutrition resource allocations. The Government has been steadily increasing this allocation, and other partners, including UNICEF and the World Bank, are strong nutrition supporters in the Gambia. Efforts are needed to better identify available resources and gaps.

Last updated: December 2016

2015

UNICEF and the World Bank are the main investors in nutrition-specific programs along with an allocation of government funds for the implementation of nutrition programs.
The Gambia participated in the SUN Movement Budget Analysis Exercise to track the financial resources for nutrition. Mechanisms to track available resources are available within NaNA but investments in nutrition in other sectors remains a challenge. The Gambia recognises the importance of tracking nutrition-specific expenditure besides health and the need to map nutrition financing.

Last updated: October 2015

SUN Government Focal Point

Modou Cheyassin Phall
Executive Director National Nutrition Agency

Donor Convenor

  • TBC