Project Factsheet
Tools for » SUN 02/MNM/016 Civil Society A
Project ID 00089099 Description SUN 02/MNM/016 Civil Society A
Fund
SUN Movement Fund
Start Date *: 23 Jan 2014
Theme
Country Catalytic Programmes
Project status Financially Closed
Country Myanmar Participating Organization   UNOPS - UN Office for Project Services
About

BRIEF ON SUN IN MYANMAR

1. BACKGROUND

The nutrition situation in Myanmar features the typical triple burden of developing countries in transition, which is characterized by high rates of under-nutrition, increasing prevalence of over-nutrition and endemic micronutrient deficiencies. Myanmar is among the “24 high-burden countries” with the largest number of children under 5 years old who are moderately or severely stunted.  The nationwide prevalence of stunting is 35.1% and wasting is 7.9% (2.1% severely acute malnourished)  and 8.6% of newborns were low birth weight at national level. According to National Anemia Surveys conducted by the National Nutrition Centre (NNC) in 2003, the prevalence of anemia in both pregnant women and children also remains high - 75% of children 6-35 months and 71% of pregnant women were anemic. These data are from the most recent Multiple Inter Cluster Survey (MICS 2009.

Micronutrient deficiencies, such as iron deficiency anemia and infantile beriberi persist, although clinically apparent Vitamin A and Iodine deficiencies are under control. According to a cause-specific under-5 mortality survey, infantile Vitamin B1 deficiency (Beriberi) is the fifth leading cause of deaths among children between 1-12 months in Myanmar . The majority of deaths due to infantile beriberi occur among babies 2-3 months of age. Anemia among pregnant women was 58% in 1994 according to a survey by the Department of Medical Research, and 71% in 2003 . Prevalence of anemia among preschool children was 30% in 1994 (DMR) and 75% in 2004 (NNC). Anemia was found to be more common in coastal and delta regions.

A nationwide study on the nutritional status of Myanmar adults in 2003 indicated that 20.5% of men and 21.7% of women have a low body mass index. Under-nutrition in women is an important contributing factor to low birth weight. The same study found that 7.2% of men and 14.5% of women were overweight (BMI>25), and 1.4% of men and 3.7% of women were obese (BMI>30). Overweight and obesity prevalence were higher amongst urban populations compared with those in rural areas, and among skilled laborers and dependent individuals, compared to unskilled laborers .

While Myanmar has made significant progress in certain areas of nutrition, notably with salt fortification and micronutrient supplementation (vitamin A and multiple micronutrient powders for children under five), insurmountable challenges persist for effectively addressing chronic under nutrition, anemia and low birth weight among vulnerable populations. 

Although Myanmar is food secure at national level, incidence of food poverty (among households?) was reported at 10% in 2005, declining to 5% in 2010. The Integrated Household Living Survey (IHLC) conducted in 2011 (citation) emphasizes that geographical variation exists, with remote and rural areas having higher food poverty incidence rates. Chin has the highest rate at 25%.

2. COUNTRY RESPONSE

Myanmar’s Ministries have been implementing mntrition programmes since 1954, providingnutrition specific  and nutrition sensitive interventions.

In 1992 the International Conference on Nutrition (ICN), convened by FAO, UNICEF and WHO, the Ministers and the Plenipotentiaries representing 159 countries and states and the European

Economic Community had declared that:

•  “Hunger and malnutrition are unacceptable in a world that has both the knowledge and resources to end this human catastrophe;

•   access to nutritionall adequate and safe food is a right of each individual;

•   the nutritional well-being of all people is a precondition for the development of societies and that it should be a key objective of progress inhuman development

•   Each government has the prime responsibility to protect and promote food security and nutritional well-being, especially the vulnerable groups”.

 

In recognition of the country’s commitment to this World Declaration and Plan of Action on Nutrition, Myanmar has since 1994 formulated its 5 year National Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition (NPAFN). Now, on its third successor plan, the NPAFN for 2011-2016 clearly underscores the need to make investments in nutrition in view of reaching its long term goal of national socio-economic development and attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Plan is based on a holistic approach to nutrition, taking into account the four pillars of food security; access, availability, utilization and stability, including issues of food safety. It builds upon past cumulative achievements and lessons learned over the years while maintaining a holistic approach to addressing nutrition problems.

3. GLOBAL SUN INITIATIVE

Over the years, Government ministries, donors, UN agencies, INGOs, and civil society actors have worked to address nutrition challenges in high burden counties. However, the absence of a coordinated approach and the lack of a common framework for action led to underachieved targets with little or no visible impact on the status of nutrition among the general population, especially among the vulnerable population groups. 

In recognition of this common problem that plagued most countries in the developing world, nutrition leaders got together to develop the Scaling Up Nutrition Approach based on proven scientific evidence . The Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) is a global movement which unites governments, civil society, businesses and citizens in a worldwide effort to end under-nutrition.

SUN was launched in 2010, with the adoption of the SUN Framework and Road Map, and has grown rapidly.

The SUN Strategy 2012-2015 and accompanying revised Road Map 2012 established, let to a three-year plan to significantly reduce under-nutrition in participating countries. The total number of SUN countries has rapidly increased from 30 countries in September 2012 to 54 countries in August 2014.

Specifically, the SUN Movement aims to increase people’s access to affordable nutritious food and other determinants of nutritional status such as clean water, sanitation, healthcare, social protection and initiatives to empower women. Their goal is a significant reduction in numbers of low birth weight infants, of children who are stunted, wasted or deficient in micronutrients, and greatly improved nutrition of all women in pregnancy.

The comprehensive approach thus calls for the involvement of a broad range of partners working in cohesion with pooled resources to develop and rapidly scale up specific nutrition interventions as well as implement cross-sector strategies that are nutrition-sensitive. Partners include representatives from civil society, government, the United Nations Organizations, development banks, and the business sector.

4. THE SUN RISES IN MYANMAR

In May, 2013, the Government of Myanmar signed up to the Sun Global Movement, clearly demonstrating high-level ownership and responsibility for delivering sustainable solutions for addressing the nutrition problems. The Government designated the Director General of Health as the SUN Focal Point for the country with the National Nutrition Center under the Ministry of Health supporting him. The SUN was formally launched in February, 2014 at a ceremony in NayPyiTaw and was well attended by stakeholders, including government representatives, donors, UN agencies, private sector, and civil society organizations.

Since then, a Multi-Stakeholder Platform (MSP) has been established and the first MSP meeting was organized in May 2014. At this meeting, the different networks were requested to do a self review to assess progress made since the launch and start of SUN. This was a useful exercise as it helped the SUN CSA as well as others to establish the baseline of SUN work.

The second MSP meeting was held from 29 to 30 October during which the different networks provided updates on the respective programs related to nutrition and SUN. UNICEF reported on the status of revision of the Infant and Young Child Feeding Manual (IYCF). See status of this below under Achievements.

SUN in Myanmar is the designated platform to:

1.  Support the implementation of the revised National Plan of Actions for Food and Nutrition (2011-2015); and

2.  Advocate and support the integration of nutrition sensitive and nutrition specific activities in the various sectors development plans under the National Comprehensive Development Plan (2011-2030).

 

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Contacts

If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Myanmar or the lead agency for the programme. The MPTF Office Portfolio Manager (or Country Director with Delegation of Authority) for this programme:

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