SUN Focal Point
Juan Pablo Silva
SUN Government Focal Point, Juan Pablo Silva, Vice Minister of Policy and Social Evaluation in the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion, discusses progress and opportunities for the future of his country through Scaling Up Nutrition
The Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion was established in October 2011, providing a significant boost to the country’s approach to nutrition governance. It has two main functions (i) to implement five major social programs to address social exclusion, vulnerability and poverty; (ii) to ensure inter-sectoral coordination for the implementation of the National Development and Social Inclusion System. The latter is the direct responsibility of the Vice Minister of Policy and Social Evaluation who is also the SUN country Focal Point. In 2012, national guidelines to reduce child malnutrition were approved by the government.
The national “Grow” (CRECER) strategy, led by the Ministry for Development and Social Inclusion (MIDIS) started in 2007 and established a system of geographical targeting of interventions and coordination across programs to fight malnutrition, and acts as the common results framework for nutrition. The Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion has built upon its Growth Strategy and established the ‘Inclusive Growth’ Strategy (CRECER PARA INCLUIR) to further emphasize the social inclusion component of the original strategy. Five major social programs under CRECER PARA INCLUIR along with the Comprehensive Health Insurance System together are the main vehicles for addressing child malnutrition. These are complemented by programs focusing on food security and water, and sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
A number of Ministries have recently signed a “National Agreement for Coordinated Action against Child Malnutrition” establishing (i) an inter-Ministerial strategy, (ii) effective interventions to reduce child malnutrition and districts that should be prioritized in the strategy and (iii) a multiannual budgetary commitment for nutrition. Regional Presidents of the National Assembly of Regional Governments (ANGR) have also endorsed a National Joint Commitment to Combat Child Malnutrition, pledging to focus on the eradication of child malnutrition as a key priority of their social agenda. These declarations are significant as they represent commitment to coordinate and implement key actions for tackling both the direct and underlying determinants of undernutrition at both the national and regional levels.
An annual budget of USD 1.1 billion for nutrition has been allocated by the government. In addition, there is a multi-annual budgetary commitment to increase or at least maintain the financial resources associated to reduce and prevent children´s chronic malnutrition.