This week, actors across the nutrition community including representatives from governments, businesses, academics and members of civil society came together to make bold pledges towards the UN nutrition targets at the Nutrition for Growth Summit.
The Civil Society Network (CSN) is part of Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN), a world-wide Movement to end malnutrition. Our diverse network of civil society organisations includes non-profit groups, human rights defenders, community organisations, women’s groups, small farmers, research entities and child rights organisations. The network has over 4000 member organisations who are part of the global network or one of our country alliances or Civil Society Alliances (CSAs).
At this year’s Nutrition for Growth Summit, the CSN made a joint commitment towards combating malnutrition, which aims to complement and amplify the numerous ambitious commitments made by the diverse members of the network.
As the CSN, we made an ambitious four-point pledge to:
- Mobilise CSN members, civil society alliances, Youth Leaders for Nutrition and individual organisations, to support the development, implementation, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation of National Nutrition Action plans in at least half of the 61 SUN countries.
- Equip CSN members with the means and tools to track commitments and hold stakeholders accountable to commitments made as part of UNFSS, N4G, WHA targets and the SDGs, using the Nutrition Accountability Framework and other relevant frameworks.
- Equip CSN members with the tools and technical expertise to drive gender-transformative interventions at the local and national level to change behaviours and social norms rooted in gender inequality.
- Guarantee continued cross-sector and cross-country learning generated by CSN members and external experts in the 61 SUN countries.
These four commitments, made on behalf of the CSN Secretariat and the wider network, are reflected within the commitments from member organisations and alliances.
For instance, commitments to reduce stunting were made by Fundacion Exito in Columbia, but also by Nutrition International who pledged to prevent 4.4 million cases of stunting among children, along with 60 million cases of anaemia.
Working multi-sectorally, a strong focus for the whole SUN Movement, is a priority for the CSA in Bangladesh who pledged to promote a multi-sectoral approach to all nutrition work in Bangladesh. Similarly, the CSA in Laos committed to strengthening ties with the government of Laos in their work on nutrition.
Promoting gender equality and gender transformative nutrition interventions is also core to the Civil Society Network and reflected in members’ commitments,.from the CSA in Laos and the Asia Regional Coordination Group committing to working on gender with the governments and advocating for the proper observation of the Breast Milk Substitute code, to the East and Southern Africa regional group prioritising gender transformative actions. World Vision International specified that a portion of their $500 million pledge will go towards gender transformative action, while CARE International committed to promoting gender equality through projects such as ‘She Feeds the World’.
Along with policy and programmatic commitments, we have also seen bold financial pledges from our network. This includes $15 million from REDNI in Ecuador, $500 million from World Vision International, $33 million from FHI Solutions, and $500 million from Save the Children International.
These pledges represent the SUN CSN’s commitment to ending malnutrition by 2030 and ensuring that nutrition is elevated as a key driver for food system transformation. We will be using the newly created Nutrition Accountability Framework to hold ourselves and others accountable and to see these words turn into action.
You can see the full commitment videos from the CSN and the Youth Leaders for Nutrition below.