On 15 March 2011, the Republic of Malawi joined the SUN Movement with a letter of commitment from the Permanent Secretary. At the time, Malawi had established a National Nutrition Committee, chaired by the Secretary for Nutrition, HIV and AIDS in the Office of the President. The main function was to mobilise resources and support the implementation of interventions in line with the countries Food and Nutrition Security Policy (2005) and the National Nutrition Policy and Strategic Plan (2007 – 2015). Malawi was also focused on community-based action, with the 1,000 Special days National Nutrition Education and Communication Strategy (NECS), prioritised for the period 2012 – 2017 to reduce stunting though behaviour change and awareness raising.

Strategic Processes for Scaling Up Nutrition

Two multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder platforms (MSPs) have been set up to coordinate nutrition plans and actions: the National Nutrition Committee (NNC) and the SUN Task Force Committee. Both are composed of a cross section of stakeholders including representatives of key sectoral ministries, development partners, civil society organizations, academics, private sector and other institutions implementing nutrition. The NNC is the convening body for coordinating action on scaling up nutrition and provides technical guidance on implementation of the National Nutrition Policy and Strategic Plan within sectors. Under the NNC, there are seven multi-stakeholder technical working groups. The SUN Task Force Committee brings together the government, UN agencies, CSOs, donors and the private sector to strengthen the multi-sector coordination.

Multi-sectoral District Nutrition Coordination Committees have been put in place in 77% of the districts while at sub-district level, Area and village development committees have been established. The committees are linked from the national to the village level. The President appointed a Nutrition Champions Committee composed of traditional leaders and technocrats to support social mobilizationand the roll out of the Nutrition Education and Communications Strategy (NECS) at the local level.

The Donor group for Nutrition Security (DONUTS) is led through a troika arrangement composed of UNICEF, USAID and WFP. The group is chaired by USAID while Irish Aid is a donor convener. On the other hand UNICEF leads the UN Forum on Nutrition. The Development Partners Group for Nutrition meet to share information on nutrition programming, provide technical and financial support, advocate and review progress on the implementation of the National Nutrition Policy and Strategic Plan. UN, donor and civil society networks are in place. A Civil Society on Nutrition Alliance (CSONA) coordinates action of NGOs engaged in nutrition at national and district level. A business platform has been established through the Malawi Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the National Fortification Alliance. Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) is supporting capacity building initiatives for scaling up nutrition. Malawi conducts national nutrition Joint Annual Reviews and learning forums.

Last updated: September 2014

The Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS in the Office of the President and Cabinet, with support from UNICEF, WB, Irish Aid, USAID and other sectors involved, developed the SUN Roll-out Framework, which includes a National Nutrition M&E plan which is now being rolled out in all the districts. The M&E plan includes the national nutrition framework and a web-based database which tracks progress from sub-district and district to national level. A National Nutrition Survey has been conducted and will help establish a baseline to measure progress in SUN implementation. Rapid assessments have been completed in 3 districts. SUN-NECS is being rolled out in 21 out of 28 districts.

Last updated: September 2014

A pooled fund has been set up with WB and CIDA in support of 15 of the 28 districts, while USAID, UNICEF, Irish Aid and WFP support other districts. Plans are underway to conduct resource mapping at national and district levels and to come up with a web-based tracking tool with support from the SUN Secretariat. High-level advocacy meetings with Principal Secretaries and Members of Parliament have been conducted with the purpose of advocating for increase in budgetary allocation for nutrition in their sectors.

Last updated: September 2014

Key Figures

Low Birth Weight 12.3%
0-5 Months Exclusive Breastfeeding 71.4%
Under Five Stunting 47.8%
Under Five Wasting 4.1%
Under Five Overweight 9.2%


 Country Statistics

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SUN Government Focal Point

  • Felix Pensulo Phiri
  • Director of Nutrition
  • Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS, Ministry of Health

Donor Conveners

  • IrishAid

SUN Focal Point, Malawi
Edith Mkawa

SUN Government Focal Point Edith Mkawa, Permanent Secretary, Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS, Office of the President, discusses progress and opportunities for the future of her country through Scaling Up Nutrition

Video Transcript ▶