A new chapter in Sri Lanka’s journey towards better nutrition
Since joining the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement in 2012, Sri Lanka has made significant progress in combating malnutrition. The country's dedication to addressing nutrition-related challenges, especially among vulnerable populations such as children and women, has yielded remarkable achievements.
The latest Global Nutrition Report highlights two major milestones that Sri Lanka is poised to achieve. The first is the remarkable progress in exclusive breastfeeding, with an impressive 80.9% of infants aged 0 to 5 months exclusively breastfed.
Additionally, Sri Lanka is making significant strides in reducing stunting among children under 5 years of age. The prevalence of stunting stands at 17.3%, which is lower than the average for the Asia region (21.8%). This achievement is a testament to the country's comprehensive approach, which encompasses improved access to healthcare, heightened nutrition awareness, and targeted interventions.
These successes showcase how collaboration across various sectors and stakeholders at the national, regional, and global levels is key to harnessing resources and expertise. This collaboration has facilitated knowledge sharing, technical assistance, and the implementation of effective strategies to address malnutrition.
However, Sri Lanka's nutrition journey still faces some significant obstacles including the impacts of the current food and nutrition crisis, affecting the achievement of other nutrition targets.
This is why the SUN Movement is excited for Sri Lanka to start a new nutrition chapter, under the leadership of its new SUN Focal Point, Dr. Sulakshana Jayawardena, Additional Secretary to the President and Director General of the Partnership Secretariat for World Food Programme Cooperation. His appointment was announced in May during the national SUN Partners’ meeting, in which all stakeholders agreed to work with the new SUN Focal Point and rally behind the Government in advancing the food and nutrition agenda in the country.
Upon his appointment, Dr. Jayawardena expressed his dedication, saying, "It is with great pleasure I share with you that I was appointed as the SUN Government Focal Point in Sri Lanka. Everyone everywhere should have the right to food and good nutrition, and I am assuring Sri Lankan Government’s fullest support and cooperation towards SUN Movement’s vision, a world free from malnutrition in all its forms, by 2030. I would urge all of you to stamp out malnutrition in all its forms by working collaboratively to end malnutrition."
With Sri Lanka's promising commitment of its leadership, the SUN Movement looks forward to continuing its partnership with the country to ensure progress is achieved on all the nutrition targets.
For more information on Sri Lanka's nutrition progress and the SUN Movement's initiatives, please visit this page