June 21st, 2018: Malawi First Lady Madam Gertrude Mutharika launched the 2018 – 2022 National Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Policy (NMNP) and Strategic Plan on 20th June 2018 in Lilongwe.
The First Lady commended the launch of the policy, describing it as a critical ingredient for Malawi’s national development, which she said needs coordinated and multi-sectoral approaches.
“I am pleased that the policy has taken into account outstanding issues on nutrition, including management of malnutrition in emergencies,” said Madam Mutharika. “I urge all sectors in nutrition to embrace and implement strategies and activities as outlined in the policy.”
During the launch, the United Nations pledged to continue supporting evidence-based and high-impact nutrition-specific as well as nutrition-sensitive actions at scale, through an equity approach, ensuring that no one is left behind, especially the most vulnerable, including children, women and adolescents.
“The UN is committed to continue contributing efforts towards reducing malnutrition in Malawi. We will continue working together for effective support and align our actions in-line with the National Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Policy and respective strategies in collaboration with the Government of Malawi, Development Partners, NGOs and the private sector,” stated UNICEF Deputy Representative Roisin De Burca.
Malawi has reduced stunting from 55 percent in 1995 to 37 percent in 2016, wasting from 6 percent in 2014 to 1.3 percent in 2018, and achieved significant reduction in Vitamin A deficiency from 59 percent in 2001 to 3.6 percent in 2016.
De Burca said this is also an indication that investments in nutrition are paying off.
The policy serves as a guiding document for national nutrition stakeholders, including government and development partners to promote evidence-based programming and strengthening of the national nutrition response, scale-up of evidence-based innovative interventions, re-alignment of nutrition interventions to the current national development strategy, the Sustainable Development Goals, and other new global declarations, which the government has signed.
The Policy provides the framework and context within which sectoral and other strategic plans and budgets should be coordinated, formulated, implemented and monitored.