UPDATE: JANUARY 2013
Graça Machel applauds Namibia for Strong Commitment to Scale Up Nutrition
Global Children’s Advocate and Child Rights Advocate, Mrs. Graca Machel arrived in Namibia on 20 November 2012 for a three day visit to support the government and its partners to accelerate efforts to scale up nutrition and reduce stunting in the country. The visit, hosted by the Rt. Honourable Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Namibia was to highlight the urgent investments needed to reduce stunting (chronic malnutrition), poverty and inequalities facing the country.Read More ▶
On 16 September 2011, the Republic of Namibia joined the SUN Movement with a letter of commitment from HE Nahas Angula, the Prime Minister of Namibia. The Prime Minister was also the Interim Chairperson of the multi-sector, multi-stakeholder forum for nutrition, the Namibia Alliance for Improved Nutrition (NAFIN). NAFIN was established in 2010 to tackle the high levels of stunting in Namibia. The Ministry of Health was implementing nationwide nutrition specific programmes and nutrition relevant programmes were put in place b cross-sector ministries including agriculture, social protection and education.
Strategic Processes for Scaling Up Nutrition
- Bringing people together
- Coherent policy and legal framework
- Aligning programs around a Common Results Framework
- Financial tracking and resource mobilization
The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) convenes the Namibian Alliance for Improved Nutrition (NAFIN). NAFIN meets regularly, but formal structures need to be established and the involvement of line ministries (beyond the health sector) could be improved. Two technical working groups, accountable to NAFIN, have been created with their own terms of reference.
UN members active in NAFIN include UNICEF, WHO, WFP, UNESCO, FAO and UNDP. The Donor Convener is UNICEF. CSOs are also members of NAFIN; the Namibia Non-Government Organizations Forum Trust is the CSO umbrella body. CSOs contribute to scaling up nutrition in communities through direct activities at community and household level. The business community has provided financial support to nutrition through the Pupkewitz Foundation and the Namibian Millers Association.
Stakeholder engagement in nutrition is considered to be strong but the monitoring through NAFIN has yet to take place, except for regular reporting from the Health & Education sectors.
Nutrition is a key priority and highlighted in the National Development Plan 4 (NDP4). Coordination and harmonisation from health sector into policy and legal framework takes place, other sectors are less aligned and need to coordinate. Additional legal guidelines, frameworks and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) need to be established.
Namibia has a National Food and Nutrition Policy (1995) and a National Strategic Plan for Nutrition (2010). In addition, there are a variety of nutrition-specific strategies and guidelines covering infant and young child feeding, micronutrient deficiency control, acute malnutrition management, and nutrition management for people living with HIV/AIDS. Nutrition-sensitive policies and strategies in Namibia cover all key sectors. The national legislation with a bearing on nutrition covers salt iodization, water management and social protection. Namibia has a number of policies on nutrition though some are out-dated.
Nutrition Landscape Analysis (LSA), strategic plans, SUN CIP exists.
The Country Implementation Plan (2013-2016) developed with support from UN REACH includes a results matrix and a dashboard of indicators to monitor SUN progress and is used as the costed common results framework for improving nutrition.
The Country Implementation Plan aims to reduce the percentage of stunted children under five from 29% to 20%, reach all pregnant women and children under five with effective nutrition interventions, and save the lives of 26,000 children under five by reducing stunting, increasing exclusive breastfeeding to 50% and increasing treatment of severe acute malnutrition by 2015.
Activities being carried out by private sector actors, such as Namib Mills, are also reflected in the National Nutrition Plan of the Ministry of Health and Social services. Nutrition-sensitive programs are in place and are led by sectoral ministries, including agriculture, social protection, education, and water and sanitation. However they need better alignment.
Next steps are to take SUN CIP to parliament to mobilise resources, to advocate for nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions and for the sustainable institutionalization of NAFIN in the Office of the Prime Minister.
The costing of the CIP was carried out with support from the World Bank and UNICEF.
The Ministry of Finance is providing NAFIN with N$ 200,000 per year (about USD 24,000) for a period of 4 years (2011-2014). The government’s financial system have not established a separate nutrition budget lines but the government reports on nutrition-specific expenditure.
There is agreement about limitations in the financial resources available and allocated to nutrition between government and partners, but the amount has not been agreed upon as there is no system in place to track contributions by government sectors and external partners.
Medium term strategic financial planning is available in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) budget, a planning for next 3 years.
Last updated: September 2014