Civil Society Organizations ally to combat malnutrition in Philippines
By Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance Philippines (SUNCSAPh)
Delegates of the SUN CSA PH General Assembly from 55 Civil Society Organization
Right before the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic grew to an alarming rate in the Philippines, 110 delegates representing 55 civil society organizations gathered last March 5, 2020 at Hive hotel, Quezon City. They tackled how to work together to improve the nutrition of Filipinos; a very timely discussion when there’s no antidote to the virus other than good personal hygiene and boosting our immunity through good health and nutrition.
This special event, organized by the Scaling Up Nutrition – Civil Society Alliance Philippines (SUN CSA Ph) with media partnership from Inquirer.net, InqPOP!, DZUP, and Wazzup Pilipinas was graced by the United Nations Global Ambassador for SUN Movement, Cherrie Atilano. She emphasized that access to diverse, adequate, and nutritious food is not a privilege but a right of everyone. She reiterated, “No child or Filipino should be left behind.”
Dr. Esther Miranda from Plan International and Dr. Milton Amayun from International Care Ministries giving the opening ceremonies.
Dr. Azucena Dayanghirang, the National Nutrition Council (NNC) Executive Director, urged the delegates to grow nutrition’s cause, “wherever they are planted”. By joining the SUN-CSA Ph, various organizations can participate in the Movement’s nutrition advocacies and adopt its nutrition agenda into their respective works to contribute to the global mission of ending malnutrition and hunger.
World Vision Development Foundation, Inc., Adventist Development Relief Agency, and the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction shared the history of the civil society alliance in the country and the perks of joining the movement. These include inter-organization mentoring and opportunities to partner with both local and international non-government organizations. To avoid conflict of interest, the criteria and responsibilities of membership were discussed.
(From L-R) Emilita Oro, IIRR Philippine Country Director, Dr. Azucena Dayanghirang, Executive Director of NNC, and Cherrie Atilano, SUN Movement Lead Group member and ambassador.
A Philippine map showing the scope of programs (nutrition-specific and sensitive) of participating organizations was presented. Everyone was invited to imagine the potential impact of an alliance where efforts are united and clamor for the same nutrition advocacy are done. It could potentially move government and civil society stakeholders to increase investment on the nutrition of people.
The program concluded with the delegates pledging their commitment to end malnutrition. It was symbolized through the signing and piecing together of puzzle pieces that formed the challenge to act now to end malnutrition. Many civil society organizations were encouraged to join the alliance and be part of the global nutrition movement.