2 August 2012
UN REACH, a new United Nations initiative in Mozambique aimed at strengthening the government’s capacity to accelerate the scale-up of food and nutrition interventions, was launched last week. This is the latest step in a series of promising actions to tackle the country’s high levels of stunting.
According to a recent survey, chronic undernutrition in Mozambique stands at a 43 per cent, one of the highest in the region. Similarly, micronutrient deficiencies continue to affect an estimated two thirds of young children.
Established in 2008 by FAO, UNICEF, WFP, and WHO as an inter-agency initiative, REACH – Ending Child Hunger and Undernutrition - pioneers new ways for the UN to ‘deliver as one’ to make the greatest impact in reducing stunting.
REACH acts as a catalyst, using evidence-based analysis and innovative programming, to help governments prioritize scarce resources. The REACH country approach and resource tools provide guidance for the implementation of nutrition programming that cuts across government sectors at the national and subnational levels. Accompanying the REACH process is a robust monitoring and evaluation framework to measure outcomes in terms of nutrition governance and management.
Lola Castro, Country Director for WFP in Mozambique, highlighted that REACH falls within the larger ONE UN initiative. “When UN agencies coordinate actions and combine resources, we make our support for the government more effective and accountable” said Ms. Castro.
One of REACH’s central roles will be to support the government in the implementation of the Multisectoral Action Plan for the Reduction of Chronic Undernutrition (PAMRDC). Approved by the Council of Ministers in September 2010, PAMRDC is a national framework of policies aiming to accelerate the reduction of chronic undernutrition in children under five.
REACH’s office will be based at the Food and Nutrition Security Technical Secretariat (SETSAN), the institution leading the coordination of the PAMRDC implementation. From here REACH will be working with ministries and provincial governments, development partners, civil society and the private sector to ensure greater coordination and collaboration. REACH is an integral part of the SUN (Scaling up Nutrition) movement.
SETSAN’s National Coordinator, Marcela Libombo, expressed that the initiative will be instrumental in materializing the government’s commitment to fight chronic undernutrition.
“As we move to the implementation phase of the PAMRDC, REACH will complement our support to ministries and provinces in the coordination and implementation of nutrition and food security interventions” said Ms. Libombo.
Describing the next steps, Tania Goossens-Allen, REACH’s Country Facilitator, indicated that supporting sectors and provinces in their preparation of PAMRDC implementation plans, and strengthening coordination mechanisms among multiple stakeholders will be some of the key priorities for this year.
“Reducing stunting in Mozambique will require actions in food, health and care for children and their mothers. REACH will use its cross-cutting approach to build upon existing country initiatives and experiences and strengthen capacity for improved nutrition governance and management.”
For more information on REACH, please contact: http://www.reachpartnership.org/
For media queries, please contact:Tania Goossens-Allen, REACH Country Facilitator Phone: (258) 21 462 403 Mobile (258) 825 366 512 E-mail: email@example.com