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The SUN Movement Global Gathering 2017 sent a message from Abidjan…

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

… a world without hunger and malnutrition is within our reach

For the first time the SUN Movement Global Gathering (SUNGG17) took place in a SUN Country, Côte d’Ivoire, and for the first time in Africa. Over the course of three days, more than 1000 participants from 70 countries, reviewed progress in tackling malnutrition and shared innovations and good practices. The Gathering convened all SUN Government Focal Points and representatives from civil society, donor agencies, United Nations agencies, private sector companies, academia, media, parliamentarians and high-profile global leaders.

The significant attendance at the SUNGG17 is a reflection of the growing attention paid to nutrition globally and the momentum for eradicating malnutrition in partnership with diverse allies across sectors All stakeholders recognised that investing in nutrition is essential for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. .

The Coordinator of the SUN Movement, Gerda Verburg, said that “while progress has been made on undernutrition, we need to do more. Ending malnutrition requires strong consistent political leadership, investments at scale supported by national budgets and external funding, and coordinated actions”.

According to the 2017 Global Nutrition Report, overweight and obesity are on the rise in almost every country, with 2 billion of the world’s 7 billion people now overweight or obese and a less than 1 per cent chance of meeting the global target of halting the rise in obesity and diabetes by 2025.


“The problem of malnutrition, be it undernutrition or obesity, is an alarming public health problem and real global concern. Malnutrition is at the heart of the problem of fighting extreme poverty, and an important dimension of social and human development”

H.E. Daniel Kablan Duncan, Vice-President of Côte d’Ivoire


During the SUNGG17 participants rallied behind  the need for political and financial commitment and deeper partnerships across sectors such as – sustainable agriculture and food systems, women’s empowerment, water and sanitation, health, youth and early childhood development.  Moreover, all participants, agreed that what nutrition needs is COLLABORATION.

#InvesInNutrition. Former president of Tanzania, His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete, recalled that during his tenure as President “with only 20 per cent of the targeted budget mobilized, we were able to reduce stunting by 8 per cent from 42 per cent to 34.7 per cent. We could have done better with more resources”. Echoing this sentiment, the President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, stressed the importance of investing in nutrition: “Funding for nutrition is stunted! Let’s invest smarter, in gray matter!” Adesina recalled the commitment of the Africa Development Bank to helping young entrepreneurs produce healthy food in a sustainable way because an “Africa, with well-nourished children will be a better Africa. That´s why we need to invest in nutrition”


The SUNGG17 is the flagship event of the SUN Movement and an important moment where members take stock of progress and challenges, share their innovations and learn what is helping to reduce malnutrition across all SUN Countries. In the words of UNICEF Executive Director and Chair of the SUN Lead Group, Anthony Lake, “SUN has become a model of what a movement should be and remember we are a movement! Meaning, we always keep moving”.


Message from Abidjan: Investing in Nutrition for a Sustainable Future

The central theme for the upcoming African Union-European Union Summit is “investing in youth for a sustainable future”, focusing on how to create opportunities for Africa’s growing population. Good nutrition, as discussed during the three days of the #SUNGG17, is key for youth to thrive and build a sustainable future. In the closing ceremony, the SUN Movement Coordinator, Gerda Verburg, on behalf of the SUN Movement, presented the Vice President of Côte d’Ivoire, His Excellency, Daniel Kablan Duncan, with the “Message from Abidjan.

The “Message from Abidjan” encourages African and European leaders to translate commitments into concrete results for implementation of effective interventions at scale to end malnutrition, leaving no one behind. The message reiterates that “improving nutrition is a smart investment: one dollar yields 16 dollars in return, boosting economic development by 10 per cent or more”.

Read the “Message from Abidjan”: English l Français l Español


The 2017 SUN Movement Annual Progress Report

The SUNGG17 offered the perfect opportunity to celebrate the successes seen and progress made in 2016-2017, across the SUN Countries. The 2017 SUN Movement Annual Progress Report was officially launched during the SUNGG17 and highlights the progress made – through the voices of countries, states, networks and nutrition champions, and what lays in store for 2018.

SUN Countries are experiencing significant reductions in malnutrition, proving that its eradication is within reach. In 2016-2017, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Myanmar, and Nigeria reported a significant decline in the number of stunted children. Obesity & Overweight challenge is being also tackled across the Movement: 16 SUN Countries included overweight & obesity in their national policies. 

• 2017 SUN Movement Progress Report: English l Français l Español
SUN 2017 Progress Report Highlights Animated Timeline

The 2017 Global Nutrition Report

On the first day of the SUNGG17, the African launch of the Global Nutrition Report 2017 (GNR2017) took place, demonstrating nutrition’s importance as a catalyst for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The GNR2017 found that overweight and obesity are on the rise in almost every country, with 2 billion of the world’s 7 billion people now overweight or obese and a less than 1 per cent chance of meeting the global target of halting the rise in obesity and diabetes by 2025.

The Global Nutrition Report 2017 calls for nutrition to be placed at the heart of efforts to end poverty, fight disease, raise educational standards and tackle climate change. “We know that a well-nourished child is one third more likely to escape poverty,” said Jessica Fanzo, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food and Agriculture Policy & Ethics at Johns Hopkins University and Global Nutrition Report CoChair. “They will learn better in school, be healthier and grow into productive contributors to their economies. Good nutrition provides the brainpower, the ‘grey matter infrastructure’ to build the economies of the future.”

• Download the Global Nutrition Report 2017: English
• Global Nutrition Report 2017 Presentation: English

The 2017 SUN Nutrition Champion Awards

During the Global Gathering, the SUN Movement recognised efforts of 12 Nutrition Champions who have all made inspirational contributions to improving peoples nutrition. Each SUN Movement Nutrition Champion contributes to an increasingly global group of nutrition champions who are galvanizing political attention toward improving nutrition. As champions from all different levels, their advocacy not only benefits their own nations, but their efforts have inspired other countries that are part of the Movement.

“Each one of us sitting in this hall is a Nutrition Champion and it was overwhelming to see the number of nominations received for the 2017 Scaling Up Nutrition Champion Award. It was very difficult to finalize the champions”

Gerda Verburg, SUN Movement Coordinator

The 2017 SUN Nutrition Champions are: Ana Josefa Blanco Noyola (El Salvador); Osmonbek Artykbaev (Kyrgyzstan); Prof. Geeta Bhakta Joshi (Nepal); Saira Iftikhar (Pakistan); Feno Velotahiana (Madagascar); Spectacular Gumbira (Zimbabwe); Yves Fernand Manfoumbi (Gabon); Tisungeni Zimpita (Malawi); and Roman Tesfaye (Ethiopia). The list of Nutrition Champions was completed with three recognition awards for their lifetime achievements in nutrition to David Nabarro, Ellen Piwoz and Mohammed Agbendech also received Lifetime Achievement Awards for their unwavering dedication to improving nutrition.


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