Viet Nam: Launch of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement



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Ha Noi, 31 January 2018 - Viet Nam officially launched the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement today in an event that also kicked off the implementation of the Prime Minister's Directive on strengthening multi-sectoral collaboration for nutrition in the country's new context. The event marked an important milestone for Viet Nam in its efforts to improve health and nutrition for the country's citizens as well as in the fulfilment of its international commitments in these areas. Participants to the event included Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, Assistant UN Secretary General and Coordinator of the Scale-up Nutrition Movement Gerda Verburg, representatives from line ministries, government agencies and international organizations.

Over the past decades, Viet Nam has made great strides in improving nutrition. The child malnutrition rate has significantly declined and food security has considerably improved. However, Viet Nam still faces many challenges in this area. Government data from 2015 shows a national stunting rate of 24.9 per cent, with wide disparities amongst ethnic groups – 15 percent stunting rates within the Kinh majority – and other ethnic groups with rates as high as 30.4 per cent. The rates seen in the central highlands are even more unequal, with 40.6 per cent among some ethnic minorities and 15.8 per cent amongst the Kinh.

Viet Nam has demonstrated a strong commitment to promoting nutrition. In January 2014, Viet Nam officially joined the SUN Movement - a global movement that unites people from civil society, the United Nations, donors, businesses and researchers—in a collective effort to end all forms of malnutrition in the world by 2030. Launched in 2010, the SUN Movement is now led by 60-member countries including Viet Nam.

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"I am proud to count Viet Nam as an important member of the SUN Movement and look forward to seeing accelerated progress towards no malnutrition in the country. As Viet Nam has so many powerful stories of change to share, we at the SUN Movement are at hand to offer all of you with any further support you may need in tackling all forms of malnutrition, while we spread the word about your successes. Viet Nam's remarkable performance in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Championship should be the new normal and not an exceptional event, and together you can make it happen", said Ms. Gerda Verburg, Assistant UN Secretary General and Coordinator of the Scale-up Nutrition Movement

As a member of the SUN Movement, Viet Nam has been leading the way to addressing malnutrition in all its forms and making this transformative agenda a reality for people in the whole country. Viet Nam has recently enacted and enforced two important pro-nutrition policies including the Communist Party's Resolution No. 20 / NQ-TW and the Prime Minister Directive No. 46 / CT-TTg. However, more domestic investment is crucial for reaching the Movement's goal of eliminating malnutrition by 2030.

"For nutrition work, it is necessary to focus on raising awareness, changing behavior, raising the responsibility of the entire political system, the whole society and each citizen; To formulate and organize the implementation of schemes and programs on raising the health and stature of Vietnamese people, especially in rural, mountainous and island areas; To make recommendations, disseminate information on appropriate nutrition plans for each group of Vietnamese people; To deploy the necessary micronutrients programs for pregnant women, breastfeeding women, children, elderly people; To comprehensively implement non-communicable diseases related to nutrition" said Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien.

At the event, Ms. Wivina Belmonte, Deputy Director of UNICEF East Asia and the Pacific Region emphasized the importance of nutrition in the first 1000 days of a child's life and the role of nutrition in their development. She also expressed the confidence in the government's strong determination to invest in nutrition and the commitment to continue supporting Viet Nam in this area. "We, as UNICEF, are committed to supporting the government in this strengthening of multi-sectoral coordination, which will bring a strong stakeholdership into the same fiscal space for implementation of the SUN principles. We are committed to bringing UNICEF global experiences in combatting nutrition to support the government"

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