Business & Finance

Informing nutrition interventions in Southern Africa

The State of Nutrition in the SADC Region

Malnutrition is one of the most significant challenges of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). According to the 2018 SADC State of Foodand Nutrition Security and Vulnerability Report, 20 million children under age five in the region are stunted. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Madagascar, Mozambique and Zambia all have high stunting rates of 40 percent and above. In Madagascar, the national global acute malnutrition rate stands at eight percent. The prevalence of over-weight in Botswana, Seychelles and South Africa is 10 percent and higher, indicating an emerging problem in the region

The Global, Regional and National commitments on nutrition

In April 2016, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 20162025 the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition. The Decade aims to catalyze policy commitments that result in measurable action to address all forms of malnutrition.

SADC Member States have also committed to meeting the nutrition targets in the Agenda for Sustainable Development by 2030 - in particular, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 (end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture) and SDG 3 (ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages).

The SADC Protocol on Health and the SADC Health Policy Framework 2000 commit to improving the nutritional status of the population in the region and addressing the SADC's long-term goals of eliminating poverty.

The SADC's Food and Nutrition Security Strategy (2015 2025) also provides a roadmap for address-ing food and nutrition insecurity and poverty especially among the most vulnerable populations.

According to the 2017 Global Nutrition report, for every USD 1 invested in nutrition, there is a USD 16 return. Converting the global, regional and national commitments mentioned above into reductions in malnutrition requires political commitment, better policies, increased investment, evidence-based decision-making and cooperation across sectors from a range of stakeholders

Source: Southern African Development Community