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Nutrition Stakeholders Pledge To Work Together To Fight Pandemic

A broad range of stakeholders working on nutrition in India have joined forces to ensure nutrition stays in focus in these troubled times

Team Poshan | Dec 02, 2020

India has witnessed recent successes in strengthening nutrition programming and improving nutrition for the most vulnerable. To ensure that these achievements are not derailed by the current Covid-19 pandemic, this diverse group of nutrition stakeholders, working on various areas of technical and implementation support, research and advocacy, have pledged their renewed Commitment to Action for supporting efforts by the government and all of society in response to this unprecedented challenge.

This Commitment to Action builds on previous consensus statements among the nutrition community in India: the “Leadership Agenda for Nutrition” (2008) and “An Action Agenda for Nutrition Security in India” (2014). Both of these were released by the Coalition for Food and Nutrition Security (CFNS) and supported the design of POSHAN Abhiyaan, India’s National Nutrition Mission, 2018.

Commitment to Action (CTA) is a focused engagement of a broad range of stakeholders working on nutrition in India who have joined forces to ensure that a strong focus is maintained on nutrition as the country grapples with the short- and long-term shocks of Covid-19 pandemic. Through CTA we try to protect the impact of Covid-19 on the progress made on nutrition in India through continued leadership, attention, financing and commitment at all levels and across society.

We have come together with this Commitment to Action to move forward in a concerted, coordinated and effective manner to achieve nutrition security in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. We have received a lot of responses , over 180+ signatures from various organisations, academia demonstrating their support and commitment to the same. ‘‘Commitment to Action” is set to be launched on 2nd December 2020 from 3:30-5:00pm.

This Commitment to Action, which pledges to move forward in a concerted, coordinated and effective manner to achieve nutrition security in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, has received over 180+ signatures from various organisations, academia etc promising their support and commitment.

The Commitment to Action document lists six key areas of action:

1. Sustain leadership for food and nutrition security within the Prime Ministerial and Chief Ministerial Offices, District Magistrates and Panchayats to ensure that POSHAN Abhiyaan is implemented as planned till 2022, and extended till 2025, with ambitious targets and accompanying actions.

2. Ensure uninterrupted, universal and high-quality coverage of selected evidence-informed essential nutrition interventions, with a special focus on children under two years of age, pregnant women and adolescent girls.

3.Ensure adequate financing to deliver at scale the essential nutrition interventions with active attention to equity

4. Accelerate efforts during the crisis to address food security, including dietary diversity and access to adequate micronutrients, primary health care, safe drinking water, environment, household sanitation and address gender issues pertaining to women’s education and delaying the age of conception.

5. Retain nutrition as a development indicator and continue to invest in data systems for periodic data-driven updates on the state of food and nutrition security as the Covid-19 crisis evolves.

6.Leverage the current Covid-19 scenario to emphasize a collective multisectoral approach and strengthen holistic systems for nutrition – food systems, health systems, social protection systems and community systems.

The webinar – on December 2, 2020 - is being held on the 1000th day of the launch of India's National Nutrition Mission, the POSHAN Abhiyaan. The launch event will feature diverse speakers who have committed themselves to some core areas of nutrition and will reflect back and forward on India's progress. Together, the Commitment to Action aims to create a platform for nutrition stakeholders to come together and support action on nutrition around six thematic areas: leadership for nutrition, scaling up essential nutrition actions, financing for nutrition, addressing underlying determinants, strengthening data use, and finally, bringing all systems together for nutrition.