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

In Malawi, the National Nutrition Committee (NNC) is the convening body for coordinating action on scaling up nutrition. The NNC provides technical guidance on the implementation of the National Nutrition Policy and Strategic Plan (NNPSP) across related sectors.

This multi-stakeholder platform (MSP) is replicated at the decentralised level including District Nutrition Coordination Committees with district nutrition focal persons, Village Development Committees and Community Leaders for Action on Nutrition groups.

Other established high-level political coordination structures for nutrition include the Cabinet Committee, Parliamentary Committee, Principal Secretaries Committee, and the Government Development Partners Committee.

The Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS (DNHA) is mandated to spearhead the integration of nutrition in the line Ministries of Health, Agriculture, Gender, Information, Civic Education and Local Government to ensure multi-sectoral coordination.

The Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Donor group on Nutrition Security (DoNutS) have been re-defined to harmonise the work of the development partners to better support national efforts. The United States Agency for International Development chairs the group with Irish Aid appointed as the Donor convenor.

The United Nations (UN) Network is key in rolling out the national plans to the districts to ensure that the most vulnerable are reached.

The Civil Society Alliance in Malawi (CSONA) plays a leading role in supporting national efforts through meaningful dialogue and advocacy. Concern Worldwide supports the CSONA Secretariat.

Partners from the private sector have been active through the National Fortification Alliance.

Last updated: October 2015

Malawi has a clear programme with specific strategies aligned to the NNPSP. The NECS explicitly includes a list of steps for rolling out activities as part of a national multi-sectorial, multi-stakeholder effort called the SUN – 1000 Special Days Movement that translates policy into action.

A national level monitoring and evaluation framework is in place with clear defined indicators to guide the roll out of the NNPSP. It has already taken effect in 70% of districts.

To ensure timely reporting, the government developed a web-based database, which is linked from district to national level. All monitoring and evaluation officers in districts have been trained and supported with relevant equipment.

Progress is also tracked through the annual multi-stakeholder SUN learning forum, and through routine monitoring surveys including demographic health surveys and multiple indicator cluster surveys.

Last updated: October 2015

Malawi has developed a web-based financial tracking system with a dashboard that will help to provide information on current and forecasted resources from external sources with projections and gaps. The process is 80% complete and has been disseminated to key nutrition stakeholders at national level. The next steps include dissemination of the system and training of end users at all levels. The resource tracking system comprehensively captures the financing commitments of partners and will enable increased alignment. This financing tracking system is being coordinated with the support of DoNutS.

Malawi also recently launched the Cost of Hunger report which is now used as a tool for resource mobilisation.

Last updated: October 2015

Key Figures

Under Five Stunting 42.4%
Low Birth Weight 12.9%
0-5 Months Exclusive Breastfeeding 70.2%
Under Five Wasting 3.8%
Under Five Overweight 5.1%
Woman Anaemia 15-49 years 28.8%

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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

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