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Presenting the third Progress Report in Bangkok at the Global Event on "Accelerating the End of Hunger and Malnutrition" 29-30 Nov. 2018

There will be no sustainable inclusive growth without tackling undernutrition. Recognising that undernutrition poses a major global challenge the EU quickly reacted:

  1. The EU has committed to an ambitious objective: to support partner countriesin reducing stunting by at least 7 million by 2025, corresponding to 10% of the World Health Assembly target. Around this objective the EU has built its Nutrition policy framework “Enhancing Maternal and Child Nutrition in external assistance: an EU policy framework”.
  2. At the Nutrition for Growth event in London in June 2013 the EU pledged to allocate 3.5 billion Euros for nutrition in 2014-2020 to achieve its stunting reduction objective.
  3. The Commission has developed its Nutrition Action Plan which describes how the EU will use these funds to reach its 7 million stunting reduction target. This Action Plan has benefited from a comprehensive consultation process, involving EU Member States, UN organisations and civil society as well as nutrition focal points in partner countries.

On the 28th of November 2018, we were in Bangkok at the Global Event "Accelerating the End of Hunger and Malnutrition" and we hosted a side event  to present our third Progress Report on the Commission's Action Plan and where the Commission stands regarding the two pledges made.

5 panelists presented a story on "Partnership for Progress" :

  • Madeleine Onclin, Head of Sector Nutrition at DG DEVCO
  • Abi Masefield, Consultant at the European Commission’s Nutrition Advisory Service
  • Farah Abou Merhi, Consultant at the European Commission’s Nutrition Advisory Service
  • Carl Lachat, Assistant Professor at the Department of Food Technology, Safety and Health at Ghent University
  • Bryan Fornari, Head of Cooperation in EU delegation to Lao PDR

The presentation was drawn on the 6 sections of the 3rd Progress Report, starting with a background on the work done by the Commission on nutrition. Since it's 2 pledges, the policy framework and the Action Plan operationalizing the pledges through 3 strategic priorities and 42 priority countries and partnership with EU delegations through initiatives (such as NAS).

Progress towards the 2 pledges was then presented and methodologies used to track this progress explained. And the presentation was closed with an insight on the field through concrete examples from Lao PDR EU delegation.

The floor was then given to the public for questions and they were asked to share thoughts by filling the 3 questions given to be discussed into small groups :

  1. What are your main observations and reflections having listened to our story? What do you take away?
  2. What creative ideas and suggestions can you provide us for our next Progress Report and beyond?
  3. Please share any other experience or insights you feel relevant

The answers were collected and reflected a very positive perception of what was done and how it is done. And questions were asked on for example partnership between private sector and nutrition or on the importance of focusing on gender (women as gatekeepers of family).

The main message which came out is that, to date the Commission has evidenced progress with respect to its nutrition commitments by:

  • The amount of support it gives (financial commitments to nutrition);
  • The types of support it gives (increasing proportion of nutrition-sensitive commitments,and, within that, an increasing proportion of programmes designed with a close attention to nutrition (nutrition-sensitive dominant rather than partial);
  • The comprehensiveness of the support it gives (actions that span the strategic priorities of the Commission’s Action Plan on Nutrition); and
  • The overall stunting progress being made in countries.




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Farah Abou Merhi
29 November 2018

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