Somalia makes headway in strengthening nutrition governance and coordination
Mogadishu, Somalia — The Seqota Declaration, the 15-year commitment to ending stunting in children under 2 years of age in Ethiopia, contains a commitment to developing a national flagship multisectoral nutrition programme with strong government leadership.
The Declaration states that such an effort would be “instrumental in bringing multiple sectors to deliver as one", in true Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement fashion.
Inspired by a learning exchange with Ethiopia in late 2022, the Somali SUN Secretariat decided to adapt this commitment to its own local context.
In March 2023, with support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the SUN Secretariat in Somalia has finished drafting its Food Systems and Nutrition Act (FSNA) – flagship legislation that will provide legal, policy and institutional frameworks for the country’s first national food systems and nutrition council.
One of the primary reasons why multisectoral nutrition efforts had failed to gain momentum in Somalia is a lack of coordination and collaboration across sectors. To overcome this, the SUN Secretariat has been working closely with various ministries, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Health, and international development partners to set up a multisectoral nutrition platform anchored in the food systems approach and backed by legislation.
The FSNA will enable multisectoral policy and strategic directions for addressing hunger and malnutrition in Somalia. It also will allow Somalia to strengthen multisectoral and multi-stakeholder collaboration in safeguarding food and nutrition security in the country while, at the same time, highlighting the role of systems thinking.