Nepal | December 14, 2019

Govt teams up with businesses to fight against malnutrition

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, November 6

The Government of Nepal is teaming up with local businesses to curb malnutrition, which has been affecting 50 per cent of the country’s children.

A Business-Nutrition Engagement Breakfast, jointly organised by the National Planning Commission of Nepal and the World Food Programme today brought together leading businesses on the sidelines of the ongoing Scaling Up Nutrition Global Gathering in Kathmandu.

“Today, over 85 stakeholders, including 12 Nepali companies are coming together to hear how the private sector in other countries is rallying to the call for zero hunger,” a WFP statement quoted NPC member Usha Jha as saying during the event.

“Through this initiative, we have taken the first concrete step to improve health and nutrition in our country.”

For the first time in the country, businesses are being mobilised to support the common goal of eliminating all forms of malnutrition including under-nutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, overweight and obesity, as well as diet-related non-communicable diseases, through a single platform.

According to the WFP statement, another NPC member Dil Bahadur Gurung expressed Nepal’s commitment to reducing stunting in children by 40 per cent and anaemia in mothers by 50 per cent by 2025. “We are committed to working together with businesses to enable access to affordable and appropriate nutritious diet for mothers, children and other vulnerable groups,” he said. Strong engagement from the private sector is essential to help the country meet its commitments.

In the past, power of the private sector in raising awareness and creating common ground had not been harnessed effectively for the benefit of health and nutrition status of Nepalese children and their families, read the WFP statement.

“No single business, no government and no UN entity can act alone to achieve the goal of ending hunger and global malnutrition,” said Pippa Bradford, country director for WFP in Nepal. “Working together, we have the ability to establish powerful partnership in the new federal Nepal where no one goes hungry,” he said.

Globally, SUN Business Network, co-hosted by WFP and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, harnesses business expertise and applies its strengths and comparative advantages to improve nutrition status of the member countries.

A version of this article appears in print on November 07, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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