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Uganda to prioritise nutrition in new development plan

  |   SUN Country Network

© UNICEF Ose

With the country’s third national development plan (NDP III) set to come into force in June next year, the government has vowed to prioritise nutrition, in light of mixed progress on key targets.

The current NDP II, whose goal is to propel the country into middle-income status by 2020, will be phased out at the end of this year. The country’s performance on nutrition remains significantly low, experts observed at a two-day meeting attended by representatives of government, academia, UN agencies and civil society.

The Uganda Demographic and Health Survey of 2016 shows that 29% of Ugandan children are stunted, 3 per cent of them wasted, 32 per cent of women of reproductive age are anaemic.“Nutrition is a major development challenge for the country,” said Joses Tegyeza, commissioner for strategic coordination and implementation at the Office of the Prime Minister at the retreat.

“Cabinet approved the NDP III and we don’t want nutrition to be left behind because it is key. The draft plan highlights our commitment to address malnutrition in all its forms,” he stated. Uganda is one of eight countries benefitting from the National Information Platforms on Nutrition (NIPN), an initiative to support countries with a high burden of undernutrition.

Other countries benefitting from the initiative include Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Ivory Coast, Laos and Niger.

Each of the countries receives financial support from the EU and technical assistance from international experts to establish national platforms on nutrition. The four-year project in Uganda is supported by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the Office of the Prime Minister.

Patrick Nganzi, the Senior Policy Advisor for the project told New Vision that the initiative would support institutions to have access to real time information for use in policy making. “We have a lot of information on nutrition but it is scattered across different agencies. We have come up with a dashboard which will provide real time information for policy makers,” he stated.

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