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Côte d’Ivoire launches new Multisectoral Programme on Nutrition and Early Child Development

  |   SUN Civil Society Network, SUN Country Network, SUN Donor Network

Last November the Government of Côte d’Ivoire officially launched its new Multisectoral Programme on Nutrition and Early Child Development. The initiative, which is supported by The Power of Nutrition and the World Bank, is the first large-scale nutrition and early childhood development programme in the country. The programme will target five high-burden regions, focusing on women and young children and contributing to the reduction of stunting, anaemia and acute malnutrition.

The five-year, USD 60.4 million investment to increase the coverage of nutrition and early childhood stimulation interventions is a great example of how new private sector funds can unlock and maximise public sector investment for nutrition.

The Power of Nutrition generated USD 10.4 million towards this investment by convening a partnership of funders made up of Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities (TRECC, a partnership between Bernard Van Leer Foundation, Jacobs Foundation and UBS Optimus Foundation), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). This investment has enabled the expansion of a USD 50m project to reach additional regions and integrate Early Childhood Development activities into the programme, maximising efforts to deliver better nutrition outcomes for children in the country.

Despite recent economic growth in Côte d’Ivoire, around 834,000 children under five in the country still suffer from stunting, a chronic condition that has lasting effects on their physical and cognitive development. Stunting ultimately prevents children developing to their full potential and can jeopardise their future opportunities. Stunting and undernutrition not only have lasting consequences at individual level, but also affect whole countries, undermining both social capital and economic performance.

 

Martin Short, CEO of The Power of Nutrition, said: “Undernutrition is a problem which is often hidden but which holds back millions of children around the world, limits their growth and prevents them from thriving at school and beyond. Thanks to the determination and commitment of the Government of Côte D’Ivoire, this new programme will help tackle the causes of undernutrition and stunting and ensure that future generations of children across Côte D’Ivoire have the opportunity to live to their full potential.

The Power of Nutrition is very proud to have been able to invest in this exciting programme – thanks to the generosity of our partners at TRECC, including the Jacobs Foundation, The Bernard Van Leer Foundation and UBS Optimus as well as The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Government Department for International Development.

This transformative investment will build on the Government of Côte d’Ivoire’s commitment to improve nutrition, with the specific aim of supporting nutrition governance and management and strengthening the Government’s capacity to implement the programme. This approach will ensure long-term sustainability.

The investment will help the Government to improve vital nutrition and early childhood development services including antenatal care and nutrition counselling for pregnant women, promotion of exclusive breastfeeding for infants aged 0-5 months, nourishing diets for children aged 6-23 months, parenting education and child stimulation, community-based treatment for severely malnourished children and micronutrient supplementation for children and mothers, amongst others.

This investment will ultimately benefit up to 265,000 pregnant women and 1,100,000 children under five. It will contribute to the prevention of 5,600 deaths, 32,000 cases of anaemia among pregnant women and ultimately help 36,000 children to reach the age of five stunting-free. The results will be monitored closely in the next five years and will be used to ensure the programme has the maximum possible impact.


* Originally published by ‘The Power of Nutrition

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