Menu ENN Search

Report of the South Asia ‘Stop stunting: Improving Young Children’s Diets’ conference

View this article as a pdf

Report summary1

The third regional conference on stunting hosted by the Secretariat of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA) was held in September 2019. The conference focused on young children’s diets and the importance of complementary feeding. Country representatives together with researchers, UN partners, civil society organisations and other development partners across the region were brought together to exchange regional analyses, share new evidence and experiences, and identify critical actions across key systems of health, food, social protection, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) to improve young children’s diets.

The conference also provided an opportunity for participants to input into the draft SAARC regional multi-system action framework for improving young children’s diets, as well as developing country priorities for the improvement of young children’s diets in each country’s context. Key actions to accelerate progress were subsequently agreed. These included:

  1. Position the diets of young children as a priority in national development agendas.
  2. A multi-system/multi-sector response involving the health, food, social protection and WASH systems.
  3. Purposeful engagement with multiple stakeholders at national and sub-national level.   
  4. Regularly updated situational analyses (on status, trends and drivers) to inform policies and programmes.
  5. Social and behaviour-change communication to improve feeding practices, combined with actions to improve access to affordable, safe and nutritious foods.
  6. Utilisation of multiple delivery platforms, including at the community level, to ensure the reach and uptake of interventions.
  7. Effective government regulations and policies to protect young children in light of the growing influence of the food and beverage industry.
  8. National routine information systems and surveys, including appropriate indicators to inform actions, build accountability and track progress.
  9. Implementation research to understand barriers, enablers and pathways to improving children’s diets.
  10. Regional platforms to support country-level actions and facilitate learning exchange.

A ‘call to action’ for member states was developed, noting the need for countries to utilise opportunities to improve children’s diets in policies, regulatory measures, strategies, plans and budgets. SAARC was called on to support countries in these efforts through advocacy, regional guidance, training packages and support for formative research. The conference concluded with a reflection on the urgency of the need to improve children’s diets across the region and a commitment by ROSA and SAARC to work with member countries to support the implementation of the key actions identified.

Read more...

More like this

FEX: South Asia

Zivai Murira is the Regional Advisor for Nutrition at the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA), Kathmandu, Nepal Vani Sethi is a Nutrition Specialist at UNICEF ROSA,...

Editorial

View this article as a pdf Welcome to the second issue of Nutrition Exchange (NEX) South Asia. The South Asia region continues to bear the highest burden of child malnutrition...

FEX: Report of the South Asia ‘Stop stunting: Power of Maternal Nutrition’ conference

View this article as a pdf Report summary1 The second regional conference on stunting, held in May 2018, focused on efforts to scale up maternal nutritional care in South...

Leveraging the power of multiple systems to improve diets and feeding practices in early life in South Asia

View this article as a pdf Zivai Murira is the Nutrition Specialist at UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia, based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Harriet Torlesse is the Regional...

FEX: Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA)

Charity Zvandaziva is a Regional Nutrition Specialist for UNICEF ESA Regional Office (ESARO) Chloe Angood is a Knowledge Management Consultant working for UNICEF...

FEX: Report of the South Asia ‘Stop stunting: No time to Waste’ conference

View this article as a pdf Report summary1 In May 2017 the first three-day South Asia regional 'Stop Stunting' conference was convened by the South Asian Association for...

Resources

View this article as a pdf Global guidance WHO & UNICEF (2003). Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding. Geneva: World Health Organization and United Nations...

FEX: A global perspective on improving the diets of infants and young children

View this article as a pdf Grainne Moloney is Senior Nutrition Advisor at UNICEF headquarters, New York Linda Shaker Berbari is Nutrition Specialist at UNICEF headquarters,...

Unlocking the power of maternal nutrition to improve nutritional care of women in South Asia

Unlocking the power of maternal nutrition to improve nutritional care of women in South Asia View this article as a pdf Zivai Murira is the Nutrition Specialist at UNICEF...

FEX: South Asia and child wasting – unravelling the conundrum

This is a summary of a Field Exchange field article that was included in issue 63 - a special edition on child wasting in South Asia. The original article was authored by...

FEX: East Asia and Pacific

Jessica Blankenship is a Regional Nutrition Specialist in UNICEF's East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO), specialising in maternal, infant and young child...

The double burden of malnutrition among young children in South Asia: Policy and programme options

View this article as a pdf Dr Angela de Silva is the Regional Adviser, Nutrition and Health for Development, WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. Dr Ayoub Al Jawalhdeh...

FEX: Complementary feeding in emergencies programming – Sudan case study

This is one of four case studies in this special section of FEX to highlight the importance of a strong contextual analysis to guide the appropriate design, implementation and...

FEX: Complementary feeding in emergencies programming – Myanmar case study

This is the one of four case studies in this special section of FEX to highlight the importance of a strong contextual analysis to guide the appropriate design, implementation...

FEX: Nutrition Exchange South Asia issues on maternal nutrition and complementary feeding

View this article as a pdf Nutrition Exchange (NEX)1 recently developed two regionally focused editions exploring maternal nutrition and improving young children's diets in...

FEX: Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

Yvette Fautsch Macías is a Nutrition Specialist at the UNICEF Regional Office for the LAC Regional Office (LACRO) Paula Veliz is a Regional Nutrition Specialist at...

FEX: Nutrition Exchange (NEX) South Asia: Maternal nutrition

View this article as a pdf In its first-ever regional issue, Nutrition Exchange has partnered with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Regional Office of South Asia...

FEX: South Asia and child wasting – unravelling the conundrum

View this article as a pdf Lisez cet article en français ici By Harriet Torlesse and Minh Tram Le Background Each annual release of the Joint Malnutrition Estimates...

FEX: Complementary feeding in emergencies programming – Nigeria case study

This is one of four case studies in this special section of FEX to highlight the importance of a strong contextual analysis to guide the appropriate design, implementation and...

FEX: An innovative feeding tool to improve young children’s diets

View this article as a pdf Harmonie Bucher is a Nutrition Officer at UNICEF headquarters, New York. Linda Shaker Berbari is a Nutrition Specialist at UNICEF headquarters, New...

Close

Reference this page

Report of the South Asia ‘Stop stunting: Improving Young Children’s Diets’ conference. Field Exchange 63, October 2020. p91. www.ennonline.net/fex/63/stopstuntingconferenceyoungchildrendiets

(ENN_6820)

Close

Download to a citation manager

The below files can be imported into your preferred reference management tool, most tools will allow you to manually import the RIS file. Endnote may required a specific filter file to be used.