I am here to encourage Gambia champion nutrition: UN Assistant SG

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

The coordinator of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement  and also the UN assistant  secretary general, Gerda Verburg, who is currently in the country said her mission was to encourage The Gambia to become champion in Nutrition in the region and beyond.

She made these remarks while meeting with the officials of the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA).

According to her, the purpose of her mission in The Gambia was to meet various stakeholders and the government machineries to hear their concerns and encourage fruitful collaboration between stakeholders.

She added that her mission was also to bolster the development of common result frameworks by encouraging the involvement and active participation of the civil society and business community in the multi-stakeholders’ platform, and to strengthen coordination and partnership through frequent meetings and sharing of information.

She would also encourage the tracking of investments in nutrition, especially data availability to improve their monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning meal performance.

Speaking at the meeting, Ms. Verburg commended NaNA for a job well done, saying that she agrees with the institution’s executive director about the need for proper coordination and co-operation in order to be coherent.

She disclosed that 60 countries are involved in the SUN project and that there is a recognition that nutrition is not something that can be delivered by the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Agriculture. “You need different ministries including Finance, Education, Planning and Economic Development to come together and recognise that nutrition is a cross cutting issue.

For that reason, she said that the SUN movement recognises that nutrition is a deem enabler for engine of implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs). She therefore called for the need for different departments to come and work together on government’s behalf.

She said it was important to start with the political coherent, saying she would speak with the vice president. “I will meet with the vice president and encourage her; together with the president to have political convincing power and put the topic of nutrition in the Sustainable Development Goal.

Author: Abdoulie Nyockeh
Source: Picture: Gerda Verburg