02 Oct 2018 17:20pm
WINDHOEK, 02 OCT, (NAMPA) A validation workshop for the Food and Nutrition Security Policy for 2018 to 2028 and national Nutrition Action Plan for the same period, commenced in Windhoek on Tuesday.
The three-day workshop is also discussing the structures of the National Food Security and Nutrition Council and is being attended by representatives of the Namibia Agronomic Board, Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency, Namibia Dairies, Namib Mills, Namibian Red Cross Society and Namibia Network of Aids Service Organisations.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Deputy Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Dr Samuel Ankama said its aim is to ensure that food security and nutrition considerations are properly integrated.
Governments stance is that policies and strategies should not just be developed and shelved, but should be translated into actionable plans and implemented, Ankama said.
He further said poor participation in policy development and weak implementation of policies can have a negative impact on Namibians as it can lead to denial of services, technologies, skills and knowledge to improve on their household food and nutrition security.
The revision of the policy, Nutrition Action Plan and coordination systems is financially supported by the United States Agency for International Development through the United Nations Childrens Fund (Unicef).
Also speaking at the opening of the workshop was Unicef representative to Namibia Rachel Odede, who said it marks yet another critical and essential step toward ensuring the survival and healthy development of every child in Namibia.
She added that the proposed Food Security and Nutrition Council is a step in the right direction as it will allow Government, with the support of development partners, to provide high level political will to scale up nutrition interventions.
Cabinet approved a National Food Security and Nutrition Council in 1994 to address problems of food insecurity and malnutrition. It however became non-functional and was succeeded by the National Alliance for Improved Nutrition, which operated until Namibia became a recognised member of Scaling Up Nutrition, a country-led movement which puts countries at the heart of global efforts to improve nutrition.
Government has however decided to revive the council to ensure that food security and nutrition considerations are well coordinated and integrated into existing programmes.
It will be the overarching body for all food security and nutrition activities and will be chaired by the Office of the Prime Minister.