ECSC-SUN Meets the SUN Movement Coordinator
Ethiopian Civil Society Coalition for Scaling-up Nutrition (ECSC-SUN) held a meeting with the SUN Global Movement Coordinator, Gerda Verburg who is also Assistant Secretary-General of the UN, on 3 October 2018 at Kaleb Hotel, Addis Abeba to discuss its achievements, challenges and ways forward.
The SUN Movement is a renewed effort and commitment to eliminate all forms of malnutrition in the world by 2030. As one of the 60 countries in the world that joined the SUN Movement, Ethiopia is working toward ending malnutrition in all its forms by 2030, with the government expressing its commitment to this end through the National Nutrition Program as well as the Sekota Declaration.
The meeting has raised some of the major achievements of the civil society coalition, which include financial and technical support provided for the food and nutrition policy of the country, and the implementation of the National Nutrition Programs (NNP1 and NNP2). ECSC-SUN has also nominated Roman Tesfaye, former First Lady, for the 2017 SUN Nutrition Champion Awards for her advocacy work in the NNP.
Since its establishment with mere 11 members in 2013, ECSC-SUN has now grown into a strong coalition of 58 member organizations including two academic institutions. “One of the biggest achievements of ECSC-SUN is that it has raised the number of its member organizations. It is also a great step that the coalition has grown to include other organizations that are committed to improving nutrition”, commented Gerda Verburg.
The meeting also discussed its main challenges in which participants indicated donor related challenges like donors’ influence over the various nutrition initiatives and the global trends in funding apathy. Reluctance in some global institutions to consider nutrition as a humanitarian engagement has been identified as a major challenge as well.
As a way forward, it was suggested that ECSC-SUN should not focus only on advocacy and that it can stretch its domain to capacity building at community level. It has been recommended that member organizations of the coalition should complement each other’s works and map out activities to avoid duplication of efforts and that they should work more on nutrition behavior. Another area of focus was the need to nominate nutrition champions from among the community members to build trust.. “ECSC-SUN member organizations can also align their activities with government plans and strategies”, said Gerda.
In the Q&A session that followed, ways in which the Global SUN Movement could help ECSC with regard to securing funds has also been indicated by participants and the SUN Coordinator suggested ways in which the coalition could utilize other sources of funds other than funds from main donors.
ECSC-SUN’s meeting with the SUN Movement Coordinator ended with the coordinator requesting member organizations of the coalition to submit one pager narratives depicting the nutrition situation and its challenges at grassroots level.