On 5 September 2013, the Republic of Tajikistan joined the SUN Movement with a letter of commitment from HE Nusratullo Salimov, the Minister of Health. At the time, Tajikistan had developed a number of laws and adopted strategic documents to improve on health, nutrition and food security since the time of its independence. Tajikistan had also established the Food Security Council of the Republic of Tajikistan (FSCT) to coordinate strategic decision making concerning food security for the country.
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 Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Population (MoHSP) convenes a Multi-Sectoral Coordination Council (MSCC), to work at the policy level for nutrition. The MSCC is typically represented by Deputy Ministers. A technical working group supports the MSCC and includes ministries of education; economy, trade and development, agriculture, finance, industry and new technology, representatives of the President’s Office, development partners and civil society. The First Deputy Minister of the MoHSP chairs the Council and reports to the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Development on issues of food and food security, which itself reports to the Khukumat (Government). A terms of reference for the MSCC and its technical group have not been developed yet. There might be also a possibility to merge with other existing structures. The Institute of Nutrition and Centre of Nutrition are part of the MSCC and are two examples of academic institutions contributing to capacity and knowledge building in the areas relevant to nutrition. CSO’s are active in nutrition particularly through community outreach activities and their potential involvement in the MSCC is planned in the future.
The appointed Donor Conveners, USAID and UNICEF, use the Development Coordination Council (DCC)’s working groups on food security and nutrition cluster to periodically brief its members on the progress of scaling up nutrition in the country. Tajikistan has started to organise a study tour in Nepal to learn about the leadership on nutrition which will contribute to Tajikistan advancing its own capacity for scaling up nutrition.
A number of laws are in place to support scaling up nutrition in Tajikistan. These include laws on breastfeeding, salt iodisation, health care, reproductive health and rights, safety of food products, as well as the code of marketing of breast milk substitutes. The government is currently working on finalising the draft Nutrition and Physical Activity Strategy, the first nutrition specific strategy in the country. Other notable strategies with strong nutrition components or areas relevant to nutrition include: Food Security Strategy (under development); Living Standards Improvement Strategy 2013-2015; National Development Strategy (until 2015); National Health Sector Strategy 2010-2020; National Child and Adolescent Health Strategy 2010-2015; National Reproductive Health Strategy 2004-2014; and School Feeding Strategy (under development).
The Maternal and Child Health Department of MoHSP compiles the annual work plan on nutrition related interventions with support from development partners. One of the priority actions identified by the Government of Tajikistan is the development of a common results framework. This includes a plan for comprehensive nutrition interventions and their costing, which will allow resource tracking and subsequent resource mobilization. These will be discussed during the SUN kick-off workshop scheduled for August 2014. There are no specific nutrition programmes with timeframe but several services are provided with a view to improving nutrition and include: micronutrient supplementation; management / treatment of malnutrition; promotion of breast feeding and optimal IYCF through the Baby Friendly Health Initiative; information, education and communication activities; promotion of hygiene practices among school going children; salt iodisation; and a School Feeding Programme. In addition, WFP provides supplementary feeding for marginalized populations.
Most nutrition interventions are supported by external partners. The absence of a costed comprehensive plan leaves the government with little knowledge about the cost of each intervention or donor contributions. In financial terms the introduction of separate budgeting lines for each programme area (such as nutrition) is planned as part of the President Office’s initiatives. This, along with the development of the costed common work plan or results framework for nutrition will make financial tracking for nutrition easier.
Last updated: September 2014
Putting Policies in Place
Since the time of its independence, Tajikistan has ratified several fundamental international instruments such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1993) and Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Additionally, Tajikistan has several pieces of legislation that provide a solid foundation for improving nutrition.
- “On health care” (1997),
- “On reproductive health and reproductive rights” (2002),
- “On promotion of breastfeeding” (2006),
- “On salt iodization”
- “On safety of food products” (2012).
Nutrition-Sensitive Policies and Plans
- National Health Strategy of the Republic of Tajikistan for 2010-2020 years;
- Strategic Plan of the Republic of Tajikistan on Reproductive Health for the period until 2014 (2004),
- National Child and Adolescent Health Strategy of the Republic of Tajikistan for the period until 2015,
- National Program for Prevention, Diagnostics and Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus in the Republic of Tajikistan for 2012-2017.