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MPs pledge action on nutrition at SUN Global Gathering

child nutrition

Screening for malnutrition. Credit Dan Stiepleman for NIH. 

Parliamentarians from 20 countries participating in the 2019 Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement Global Gathering in Nepal have jointly signed a pledge where they commit to take action on nutrition. The parliamentarians have committed to encouraging their respective governments to adopt a multi-sectoral approach to nutrition as well as to ensuring adequate fund allocation to achieve national nutrition goals.

IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong, recently appointed one of the 27 SUN global leaders, took the lead in signing the pledge. The pledge calls for strong and sustained political leadership, the right laws and policies, increased financial resources and coordinated action across all relevant sectors and stakeholders to end malnutrition. It also stresses the importance of integrating nutrition into Universal Health Coverage, the subject of the most recent IPU parliamentary resolution at its 141st IPU Assembly in Belgrade, Serbia.

Malnutrition is responsible for more ill health than any other factor. Globally, one out of three people suffer from some form of malnutrition, and it is the underlying cause for 45 per cent of child deaths. A child who is undernourished in its first two years suffers irreversible damage, both physical and cognitive. Hunger and malnutrition are exacerbated by climate change and conflict. 

The SUN Global Gathering, held in Kathmandu, Nepal, from 4 to 7 November 2019, brought together close to 30 parliamentarians, SUN Government Focal Points and representatives of civil society, donors, United Nations agencies, private sector partners, academia and media.