Malawi Launches the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Initiative
Malawi has made tremendous progress in reducing malnutrition over the past half decade, owing to interventions such as child growth monitoring. However, stunting still remains high at 47.8 percent according to a 2010 DHS Survey. In its continuing efforts toward eradicating malnutrition, Malawi has been one of the first countries to launch the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) initiative. The SUN Framework was globally launched in Italy in 2010, and endorsed by more than 100 entities from national governments, the United Nations system, civil society organizations, development agencies, academia, philanthropic bodies and the private sector. It is an emerging worldwide drive to increase investment and the scope of action in nutrition as a key to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Malawi launched its own movement, dubbed the “SUN 1000 Special Days” movement, in June 2011, aided by First Lady Madam Callista Mutharika, who described it as a stepping stone for Malawi’s stride towards reducing malnutrition. The goal of the national movement is to eliminate stunting in Malawi by focusing on children’s first 1000 days, which are critical as they determine whether children can achieve their full potential for cognitive development (UNICEF Media Center). At Malawi’s SUN launch event, the National Nutrition Education and Communication Strategy for preventing child stunting was launched, which will enhance the implementation of the movement.
The upcoming conference in Lilongwe also aims at unleashing the potential of agriculture to enhance the realization of the SUN initiative in Malawi.