On 22 December 2010, the Republic of Zambia joined the SUN Movement with a letter of commitment from the Minister of Health. At the time, Zambia had established the National Food and Nutrition Commission as the convening body to coordinate action on nutrition. The National Food and Nutrition Strategic Plan (2011 – 2015) had been developed by the commission with participation from multiple sectors and with support from development partners who were participating in the Nutrition Cooperating Partners’ Group.

Strategic Processes for Scaling Up Nutrition

In Zambia, the National Food and Nutrition Commission (NFNC), under the Ministry of Health, is the national multi-stakeholder platform (MSP) which bring partners together for nutrition. Five line ministries have designated Focal Points for Nutrition to galvanise coordination.

A special Permanent Secretaries Committee has been appointed at the Cabinet level and is represented by nine Ministries (Health; Education; Agriculture and Livestock; Community Development, Mother and Child Health; Local Government and Housing; Gender and Child Development; Finance; and Youth and Sport). The Permanent Secretaries Committee convenes regularly to discuss multi-sectoral issues and nutrition is included within their remit. The mutli-stakeholder coordinating structure has been decentralised with the establishment of Provincial Nutrition Coordinating Committees (PNCCs) and Districts Nutrition Coordinating Committees (DNCCs). 14 Districts have also commenced the process of establishing Ward Nutrition Coordinating Committees (WNCCs).

The Nutrition Cooperating Partners (NCPs) Forum includes the United Nations system, and donors.

The civil society alliance, CSO-SUN, has inspired the organisation of parliamentarians through the formation of the All Party Parliamentary caucus on Food and Nutrition which brings together parliamentarians from different parties to have a coordinated voice for nutrition on the floor of the parliament. The recently established Business Network has over 22 member organisations. A new Academic Network has developed Terms of Reference and a Scope of Work towards development of the national research agenda.

Last updated: October 2015

The National Food and Nutrition Strategic Plan (NFNSP) 2011-2015 compliments the National Food and Nutrition Policy and is the common results framework (CRF) by which all supporting stakeholders are aligning behind. It includes eight operational strategies and three supportive strategic directions (SD) with a complete implementation matrix and a monitoring and evaluation framework. SD 1 “Prevention of Stunting in Children Under two Years of Age: First 1000 Most Critical Days” has a fullyfledged programme developed called the 1st 1000 Most Critical Days Programme (MCDP) to be implemented over a three year period. With the support and facilitation of the national level, provincial and the district nutrition multisectoral plans for the 1st 1000 MCDP have been developed. Two-year (2014-2016) DNCCs multi-sectoral nutrition plans have been costed based on the minimum package.

The minimum package of interventions under the 1st 1000 MCDP comprises of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive that are also aligned to the results of the R-SNDP.

Zambia recognises that in order to enhance the capacity of the different implementing institutions, different capacity interventions have been developed and are in the process of being implemented. They will cover institutions at both national and subnational levels.

Last updated: October 2015

The NFNSP has been partially costed for the minimum package and recommended scenarios to guide resource mobilisation for the First 1000 MCDP which is based on SD1 with technical support from the World Bank. More work is needed in the area of costing, especially related to nutrition-sensitive interventions which have limitations in cost assumptions. The NFNC along with key line Ministries and CSO-SUN have proposed to address this by costing district level activities for some nutritionsensitive interventions in the minimum package to help bridge the gap on the costing report of the World Bank. The pooled fund, SUN Fund Management Unit (SFMU), will support the NFNC to contract experts to undertake fiscal space analysis to identify the financial gap which will assist in the planning for resource mobilisation to scale up the programmes nationwide.

NCPs are planning to map the available funds among its members for nutrition on a yearly basis in order to help improve accountability of funds for nutrition from all stakeholders. In addition, the process of having independent audits has also been initiated by the SFMU.

Last updated: October 2015

Key Figures

Under Five Stunting 40.1%
Low Birth Weight 9.2%
0-5 Months Exclusive Breastfeeding 72.5%
Under Five Wasting 6.0%
Under Five Overweight 5.7%
Woman Anaemia 15-49 years 29.2%

See more statistics

"Government is thus committed in galvanizing political leadership at high-levels to move forward this strategy so that nutritional outcomes are properly enshrined as key goals of national development policies and plans.”

Dr. Joseph Kasonde, MP, Minister of Health
(Excerpt from a statementin support of the National Food and Nutrition Strategic Plan)

SUN Government Focal Point

  • Robinah Mulenga-Kwofie
  • Executive Director
  • National Food and Nutrition Commission

Donor Conveners

  • World Food Programme
  • with the support of the UK Department for International Development