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A new chapter for youth leadership on nutrition for the SUN CSN! 

This year, the SUN CSN Secretariat is very excited to be launching the next phase of the successful Youth Leaders for Nutrition Program, and we’re inviting all CSN Members to join us in recruiting the next generation of young change-makers on nutrition.  What does this new phase look like?  Previously, the SUN CSN has supported […]

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The Youth: Secret Ingredient for a Sustainable Food System

Food and Nutrition Youth Network (FNYN) Philippines Launched By: Rose Jade Eugenie Delgado SUN Youth Leader for Nutrition & FNYN Philippines Convenor  In the recipe of shaping a more sustainable food system, we need: a cup of policy changes by governments, a pinch of investment and innovation from businesses and the private sector, a dash of advocacy from Civil Society Organizations, a […]

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ADN Juvenil Perú trabaja en procesos de incidencia a favor de la Nutrición en 8 regiones del país

Líderes de colectivos de jóvenes de 8 regiones del país formaron la plataforma ADN Juvenil Perú que busca contribuir en la lucha contra todas las formas de malnutrición colocando el tema en la agenda de las autoridades regionales. Para ello desarrollan acciones de activismo e incidencia política como vigilancia colaborativa, seguimiento del presupuesto público destinado […]

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The SUN Civil Society Network launches its new 5-year strategy!

Why do we need a new CSN strategy? The Civil Society Network 3.0 strategy (2021-2025) constitutes an essential guide to rally all civil society members’ collective efforts behind a strong mission and vision. The CSN 3.0 strategy was designed for the Network by the Network, in alignment with the overall SUN Movement 3.0 strategy. As such, the […]

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Meet the women of the CSN: Anayat Sidhu

Youth Leader for Nutrition, Canada My work in nutrition I cannot overemphasize enough my enthusiasm for being a part of the YL4N program. To be able to engage with individuals that I greatly admire every day is a true honour. Additionally, the chance to learn from others is what I highly value. To be able […]

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Prioritising Youth Voices During the Year of Action for Nutrition for Growth

2021: A year overflowing with opportunities   It’s 2021, and although very little may have changed so far in comparison to 2020 (come on, vaccines!), there has already been a huge shift: it is now officially the Year of Action for Nutrition.   Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in devastating losses to the decades of progress on […]

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8 things we learnt from Keeping Up with YL4N for World Food Day

“You have the platform, we have the voice. Together we can make a difference”Bormey Chhun, Youth Leader for Nutrition Cambodia Last week’s World Food Day also marked the inaugural youth-led webinar from the SUN CSN Youth Leaders for Nutrition. The event was organised in the same spirit that embodies the Youth Leaders for Nutrition programme […]

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Nutrition Can’t Wait: Setting the agenda for adolescent nutrition in the context of COVID-19 and beyond.

Written by Irshad Danish and Jigyasa Nawani from Nutrition International, this blog talks about their previous Adolescent Nutrition webinar and what came out of it. You can read the full piece here > https://scalingupnutrition.org/news/nutrition-cant-wait-setting-the-agenda-for-adolescent-nutrition-in-the-context-of-covid-19-and-beyond/ “While adolescents form one-sixth of the world’s population, adolescent nutrition remains an underrated agenda in most countries. With the COVID-19 pandemic interrupting most health and […]

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COVID-19 impacting the health and wellbeing of children and families in Zimbabwe

The outbreak of COVID-19 in Zimbabwe is having drastic consequences to the health and wellbeing of children and their families in both urban and rural communities. Infants, children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are facing significant risks to their nutritional status and well-being especially in contexts where access to essential health and nutrition services and […]

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The COVID-19 Menace and its impact on nutrition.

 BY JANE NAPAIS (YOUTH ADVOCATE FOR NUTRITION IN KENYA) It’s unfortunate how situations can change in a blink of an eye. Covid-19 has significantly affected service delivery globally, especially in the field of nutrition. Based on the Global Report on Food Crises 2020, it is projected that the pandemic may add as many as 132 […]

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 BY JANE NAPAIS (YOUTH ADVOCATE FOR NUTRITION IN KENYA)

It’s unfortunate how situations can change in a blink of an eye. Covid-19 has significantly affected service delivery globally, especially in the field of nutrition. Based on the Global Report on Food Crises 2020, it is projected that the pandemic may add as many as 132 million people to the total number of hungry people in 2020.

 The Kenyan economy is driven by agriculture, and any negative change in climate will affect the total annual yields. The onset of heavy rains from late 2019 into early 2020 resulted in floods around the country, severely affecting agriculture and food security in Kenya. The arrival of desert locusts into the country and other East African countries has caused a drop in the harvests made. With Covid-19, this has added salt to the already existing wound.

Effects of Covid-19 on nutrition

In Kenya, all learning institutions have been closed as a way of combating the spread of Covid-19. School meal programs no longer exist due to this closure. Most school-going kids that depended on these meal programs come from households that are critically food insecure. Due to the unavailability and inadequacy of food, these children face food rationing and most of them are only able to eat one to two meals a day. In some cases, parents and other primary caregivers go through fasting as a way to spare food for their little ones. The staple food items in these households contain a maximum of two food groups, leaving out vital nutrients. Malnutrition also increases susceptibility to other illnesses due to compromised immunity.

Even though lockdown has been lifted in most parts of the country, most food distributors in the supply chain are reluctant to move from one place to another due to fear of contracting Covid-19. Areas that relied on these distributions face acute food insecurity because either the commodities arrive in small quantities or they do not arrive at all. Due to these supply chain issues, farmers in rural areas are running losses because they are forced to dispose of their products or sell at cheaper prices, while those in urban areas are facing inadequacy and rise in prices of basic food items.

With the already overwhelmed health care facilities across the nation, the arrival of Covid-19 has seen a shift in focus towards managing this menace. This has left other sections of healthcare like nutrition departments, child welfare clinics, and antenatal clinics under-resourced. Children under 5 years old are now advised to stay at home with no growth monitoring, meaning early detection of malnutrition is hindered. Pregnant mothers do not attend antenatal clinics due to a fear of contracting the virus in health facilities that have been marked as red zones.

Ways to curb malnutrition during Covid-19

No country was expecting this pandemic. Even though most governments have emergency budgetary allocation, these funds have been used up at the early stages of Covid-19 in an urgent attempt to save lives. Now actions need to be adjusted from emergency to recovery. Below are some suggestions for how governments and stakeholders can address malnutrition in their Covid-19 response:

  • Governments and stakeholders should develop specific mapping strategies and food security monitoring systems to identify the most vulnerable individuals at the household levels.
  • The health sector should strengthen nutritional care to ensure continuity in nutrition services, both at the facility and community levels to allow early detection and community-based management of malnutrition.
  • Resources should be mobilized from all sectors of every stable economy to save lives, particularly to areas where the impact of the pandemic is severe.
  • Nutrition-sensitive social protection systems should be established and strengthened.

The importance of adolescent nutrition interventions

As a youth advocate in Kenya, my adolescent nutrition campaign has shifted its focus to reaching these adolescents at household level while schools remain closed. At household levels, not only do we raise awareness of the importance of prioritizing nutrition, but we also mobilize resources from willing donors and partners to provide food, livelihoods and other essentials to save lives and improve sanitation.

We believe that when proper care is given to adolescents, we are securing the future. Even though much focus is on saving the vulnerable, such as children, pregnant and lactating mothers, and the elderly, leaving out adolescents risks worsening the intergenerational cycle of malnutrition, and threatens the economic and social prosperity of my country.