SUN Coordinator visits Afghanistan, new member of the Movement
On 16 October 2017, SUN Coordinator, Gerda Verburg, visited Kabul to welcome Afghanistan to the SUN Movement, the 60th country member. At a high-level event at the Marble Palace, to coincide with World Food Day, over 150 officials from various Government Ministries, international development partners, United Nations representatives and civil society made a pledge declaring their full commitment to the goals & objectives of Afghanistan Food Security and Nutrition Agenda (AFSeN), which aims to address food and nutrition insecurity to ensure that no Afghan suffers from hunger and that every Afghan is well-nourished at all times.
During the high level-event, the Chief Executive of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, his Excellency Dr Abdullah Abdullah, highlighted some of the country’s achievements and challenges. “Afghanistan has made some progress, and achieved terrific success in food security and nutrition indicators during the past decade, the overall rate of food insecurity has decreased, similarly nutrition indicators especially the level of stunting and micronutrient deficiencies has significantly improved; but food and nutrition insecurity is still a major concern in Afghanistan. The national surveys indicate that approximately 33 per cent (9.3 million) of the total population in Afghanistan are food insecure; and 41 per cent (2 million) of children aged 0-59 months are stunted.
“I am delighted to read about Afghanistan’s Government leadership and commitment to ending malnutrition and acknowledgement of the efforts to address the issue of malnutrition”
Gerda Verburg, SUN Movemente Coordinator
— Adele Khodr (@AdeleKhodr) October 17, 2017
Ms. Verburg met with the Afghanistan SUN focal Point, H.E Arsalai Sahib, WHO and UNICEF representatives in the country as well as ambassadors from Canada, USA and Korea. SUN Coordinator stressed in her meetings that nany SUN Countries have formed a national Multi-stakeholder Platform (MSP), comprised of key actors they feel are best positioned to take the actions needed in their national contexts. These stakeholders often form networks to strengthen alignment and support behind national priorities.
— Dr. Abdullah (@afgexecutive) October 16, 2017
The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GoIRA) has recognized that the food and nutrition insecurity results in hunger and malnutrition, which negatively impacts on citizens and national development. Food and Nutrition Security is multi-dimensional issue, it has multiple effects and various institutions/ ministries are involved in addressing these issues in the country. In order to address the issue, AFSeN was developed. The goal of AFSeN is to ensure that no Afghan suffers from hunger and every Afghan is well-nourished at all times
The Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) Movement presents a practical vision to achieve the objectives of AFSeN. Recognizing that it will take collective action to improve nutrition, the SUN Movement is unique as it brings different groups of people together – governments, civil society, the United Nations, donors, businesses and scientists – in a collective action to improve nutrition. It is aligned with Afghanistan’s national nutrition priorities to make a difference by amplifying the reach and impact of each other’s work. AFSeN is a renewed effort to eliminate all forms of malnutrition, based on the principle that everyone has a right to food and good nutrition