Country updates

REACH helps bring actors together to mobilise funding for Myanmar's Nutrition Promotion Month
17 August 2017

Initially instated in 2003, Myanmar's Nutrition Promotion Month continues to offer a prime window of opportunity for nutrition advocacy. Nutrition Promotion Month (NPM) has unfolded at varying times over the years before landing on August in 2009. Since then, awareness-raising activities have been conducted throughout the month each year from national to village levels in all states and regions. A specific theme is dedicated to each week, as highlighted below.

•    Week 1: Breastfeeding Promotion
•    Week 2: Child (Under5s) Nutrition Promotion
•    Week 3: Maternal Nutrition Promotion
•    Week 4: Iodine Deficiency Disorders Elimination

The first week coincides with World Breastfeeding Week, which is part of greater efforts to protect, promote and support breastfeeding, based on the Innocenti Declarations, WHO/UNICEF Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding and the Ten Links for Nurturing the Future.

With declining funds available for NPM activities, REACH catalyzed work with the agencies engaged in the country's UN Network for SUN (UNN) to support the National Nutrition Committee (NNC), Ministry of Health and Sports and other ministries on these efforts. To this end, REACH organized a fund-raising meeting in the capital city, Yangon, which was attended by members of the respective SUN Networks such as the UNN, Donor Network and SUN Civil Society Alliance. These efforts have managed to successively close the funding gap, thanks to generous contributions from all stakeholders. Some contributions were made in-kind, including a radio program for disseminating key nutrition messages, executed by the SUN Civil Society Alliance.

REACH plays a pivotal role in the government-led Nutrition Stock-Taking exercise and the UN Network for SUN in Myanmar
26 July 2017

Country stakeholders are celebrating the completion of a massive Nutrition Stock-Taking exercise that engaged a multitude of nutrition actors in the country from August 2016 to May 2017. The exercise is nothing short of a milestone for nutrition in Myanmar.  Spearheaded by the National Nutrition Committee (NNC), anchored within the Ministry of Health and Sports, the exercise utilized a suite of REACH analytical tools to help paint a comprehensive picture of the nutrition situation in-country. However, the value of the exercise, including the ensuing outputs, goes well beyond the tools.

The participative process undertaken was equally paramount. The UN Network for SUN (UNN), through REACH, supported the NNC to bring together representatives from five ministries (Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation; Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement; Education; Planning and Finance; as well as Health and Sports) to develop the stock-taking package. Similarly, the REACH facilitator also helped the NCC engage the SUN Civil Society Alliance in these efforts. A Multi-sectoral Nutrition Team was officially established, which served as a working group for the exercise.  

Ultimately, the Nutrition Stock-taking is comprised of three components: (1) Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Overview; (2) Policy and Plan Overview; and (3) Stakeholder and Nutrition Action Mapping. The work  entailed a desk review of surveys and sectoral reports to compile and repackage secondary data into graphs, maps, dashboards and other visuals. This helped to translate complex numbers into simple messages that attract the attention of policymakers and donors, and galvanize support for nutrition action. In addition, the outputs have helped to inform a range of nutrition governance processes to ensure that they are context-specific. Country actors now have a greater appreciation of the importance of employing a multi-sectoral approach to nutrition. The exercise has also shown that coordination among diverse groups, while challenging, is possible when there is willingness and drive to work towards a common deliverable. 

REACH facilitates a multi-stakeholder retreat in Myanmar to strengthen the UN Network for Nutrition and Food Security
6 June 2016

Read more about the retreat in a web article and the retreat report.

Click here to view a short video on the highlights from the UN Network for Nutrition and Food Security retreat held in Yangon in May 2016.


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