Engage, Inspire, Invest: SUNGG 2019

Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement Global Gathering 2019: Panelist presenting the path to the Nutrition for Growth Summit in 2020.

“Nutrition comes first,” says the Honourable Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada, Nepal Minister of Finance, setting the tone for this year’s Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Global Gathering (GG). Over four days, 1,000 farmers, chefs, practitioners, journalists and Government Ministers from 61+ countries gathered in Kathmandu to share their stories of success and the challenges they face in ending malnutrition in all its forms.  

From exploring the interconnections of nutrition and climate to debating the role of business in nourishing people and planet, the Gathering celebrated progress and identified actions for sustainable nutrition wins. Find below a snapshot of this activity. 

Released each year, the SUN Progress Report tracks the progress of the 61 countries and 4 Indian States leading a global movement to end malnutrition. 

Many SUN countries are moving in the right direction. 42 SUN countries have national nutrition plans that bring together diverse stakeholders in a government-wide approach to addressing malnutrition. A further 9 countries are developing or updating theirs. 

While global stunting has fallen from 171 million children (2010) to 149 million (2018), only 11 SUN countries are on track to meet 2025 World Health Assembly stunting targets – a figure prompting UNICEF ED Henrietta Fore to call for increased support for country-level action.

Find here a summary of this report.

Healthier diets: a commercial opportunity  

Highlighting the vital engagement of private sector actors, Monica Musonda called for governments to create incentives for companies championing nutrition, for civil society to call out bad business behavior and for donors to invest in nutritious food companies. 

“Ideologies are important, but we should not hide behind them,” implored Lawrence Haddad, as he emphasized the need for a more nuanced view of the private sector and greater engagement for improved nutrition outcomes.

How can we think about climate and nutrition together? 

With climate change already impacting food security and nutrition, David Nabarro identified an opportunity to rethink their interconnections to explore how a climate focus could drive progress on nutrition. 

Sharing learnings from Mozambique’s recent cyclone, Claudia Lopes highlighted the severe impact of climate incidents on women and girls’ nutrition. 120,000 pregnant or breastfeeding women were at high risk of malnutrition post-cyclone, emphasizing the need to integrate nutrition into disaster preparedness and humanitarian responses. 

In Fiji, The Honourable Inia Seruiratu shared his country’s use of nature-based solutions- the planting of 1 million trees a year or drafting a strategy for water and oceans- to address the causes and mitigate the effects of climate change. 

Kathmandu to Tokyo 

“We need to see measurable, implementable & monitored commitments from Nepal and others to make sure that by 2030, we leave no one behind.” – Gerda Verburg

In 2020, SUN countries aim to make Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound (SMART) commitments at the 2020 Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit (N4G) as we enter the final decade of the SDGs. 

Leading the way, Nepal Foreign Minister Hon. Mr. Pradeep Kumar Gyawali committed to reducing under-five undernutrition to 3% and underweight to 9% as well as investing in the golden 1,000 days for the rest of the 1,000 months. 

To keep track of N4G nutrition commitments, check out this commitment tracking tool.

Beyond SUNGG19: SUN 3.0 

“As the SUN Movement enters its third phase (2021–2025), we need a movement that is fit for purpose, address[ing] all forms of malnutrition, everywhere,” says Henrietta. To help shape SUN 3.0, the Strategic Review Team held a number of meetings to gather stakeholders’ thoughts, a few of which included: 

  • Creating space for critical analysis and co-creation in addition celebration 
  • Building delivery capacity of nutrition interventions at sub-national level 
  • Strengthening regional level advocacy 
  • Increasing private sector engagement in balanced dialogues 
  • Boosting sub-networks to help mobilize resources in new spaces (i.e. academics, media, chefs) 

The SUN Movement is entering an exciting period with lots of activity but also a recalibration of SUN’s mandate to also deliver on overweight and obesity while nourishing the planet. The 2019 SUN Global Gathering is a taste of the great work to come. 

All photos credited to © SUN Movement / Sabrina Gandol.

This content was originally posted on the SDG2 Advocacy Hub. See the original content here.