National Forum on the first 1000 days of life: The challenges of chronic malnutrition in Benin
From 11th to 13th June 2015, the National Council for Food and Nutrition (CAN) in Benin organised the first national forum on the first 1000 days of life. The event was organised with the support of agencies in UN Network for SUN. The aim of the Forum was to provide information on the nutrition in the country and its impact on socio-economic development. The investment case for nutrition presented, showed the crucial measures that need to be taken by both national and local decision-makers. There was a particular emphasis on the challenges of chronic malnutrition that the country faces.
Around 100 people from multiple stakeholder groups were invited, including civil society, donors, United Nations agencies, technical and administrative managers and local elected officials. The participants extended beyond the borders of Benin and included nutrition advocates from neighbouring African countries and beyond.
The plenary session looked at the complex root causes of malnutrition and how they manifest themselves in Benin. Following this, the participants discussed the actions they each needed to take in order to take action against malnutrition. The discussions took place in working groups covering ‘Health’, ‘Agriculture and food security’, ‘Water, hygiene and sanitation’ and ‘Governance and funding’.
Participants then focused on the actions to be taken in alignment with the priority actions of the related sectors. As a result, the focus groups drafted a revised version of the Benin common results framework (CRF) for nutrition. The CRF provides a concerted and effective response plan to tackle the challenges of chronic malnutrition in Benin.
Following the event, CAN will establish a core working group to complete all proposals and finalise a agreed operational blueprint.
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