SPEECH MADE BY Ms. MANIZA ZAMAN; UNICEF COUNTRY REPRESENTATIVE IN TANZANIA ON BEHALF OF UNITED NATIONS AGENCIES AT THE JOINT MULTI-SECTORAL NUTRITION REVIEW (JMNR) 2017

 

 

-       Honorable Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania, Honorable Kassim Majaliwa

-       Honorable Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Honorable Ummy Mwalimu

-       Honorable Ministers invited

-       Members of parliament invited

-       Managing Director of Tanzania Food & Nutrition Centre, Dr Joyceline Kaganda

-       Representatives of Donor organization, UN Agencies, CSOs, and the Private sector

-       Representatives from Government Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Regions and Councils

-       Dear participants,

 

Habari za Asubuhi!

 

Nina heshima kuongea kwa niaba ya mashirika ya Umoja wa Mataifa hapa Tanzania katika mkutano huu wa kupitia Mpango wa Pamoja wa Lishe unaojulikana kwa lugha ya kiingereza “Joint Multisectoral Nutrition Review” ya mwaka elfu mbili kumi na saba (2017). Ninapenda kuipongeza serikali ya Tanzania kwa kuandaa tukio hili muhimu la kutathimini maendeleo ya utekelezaji mwaka wa kwanza wa Mpango wa Taifa wa lishe wa miaka mitano.

 

It is my honor to speak on behalf of United Nations Agencies in Tanzania at this 2017 Joint Multi-sectoral Nutrition Review. I would like to congratulate the Government of Tanzania for organizing this very important event that will take stock of the implementation of the National Multi-sectoral Nutrition Action Plan, after this first year. This is truly a milestone in our common efforts to fight malnutrition.

 

The theme of this year’s Joint Multi-sectoral Nutrition Review - “Good Nutrition: A Key to Industrial Development in Tanzania” clearly reflects the linkage between good nutrition throughout the life cycle, human capital development, productivity and industrial development. This theme is a prime example of the way the Sustainable Development Goals were conceptualized. The 17 ambitious goals for betterment of humanity are inter-related – progress in one supports progress in several others; stagnation in one area hampers achievement of others. Preventing and reducing malnutrition, which is part of SDG 2 (‘ending hunger, ending all forms of malnutrition”, improving food security) has a positive multiplier effect on individuals, societies, economies and nations.

 

As UN agencies we applaud the Government of Tanzania in both recognizing malnutrition as a serious intergenerational problem and also its commitment to improve nutrition throughout the country. This sustained political will is illustrated by inclusion of the nutrition component in Five Year Development II (2016-21) and also in the preparation of an evidence-based and ambitious National Multi-sectoral Nutrition Action plan (2016-21) which will be formally launched today.

 

During the last decade, Tanzania has shown strong progress in improving the nutrition status of children and women. This has to be commended. As with many other countries we have to push forward to achieve even faster results. The data compels us: one in three children are stunted, large numbers of girls and women suffer from anaemia and the coverage of some key nutrition interventions needs to increase. The National Action Plan aims to tackle these issues.

 

We would like to recognize that Tanzania has the key tools to support effective implementation of the National Multi-sectoral Nutrition Action plan. These include:

·        The Common Results, Resources and Accountability Framework;

·        Systematic evidence-based planning and budgeting on nutrition by LGAs using  results of  bottleneck analyses of key nutrition interventions;

·        The multi-sectoral nutrition scorecard to track progress on key nutrition interventions and foster accountability at decentralized level;

·        Coordination structures at national and subnational levels

·        Annual joint multi-sectoral nutrition review for stock-taking, course corrections and strategic guidance

·        Public expenditure review on nutrition to inform prioritization and financing.

So there is a lot to build on – and there is a lot of promise and hope.

 

Ladies and gentlemen – as a UN family we welcome this meeting which in addition to providing a forum for celebrating progress, also gives us the opportunity to identify challenges, learn and reflect. As we start the 2 day deliberations, I would like to note 3 points for our joint reflection.

 

1.   Thesub-national nutrition coordination structures, including the regional and district nutrition steering committees, need to function optimally to ensure a coordinated nutrition response at the sub-national level.We are pleased to note that clear terms of reference for the coordination structures are being developed. This will help reinforce their importance, support governance and clarify responsibilities. As a community, let us support these structures to work effectively.

2.   A multi-sectoral nutrition information system to ensure continuous collection, analysis and interpretation of nutrition-related data is for key timely decisions and effective use of resources. Such an information system needs to underpin the common result, resources and accountability framework. We are pleased to note that efforts are underway in this area by the Government and development partners. As the UN we commit to optimizing our support in this area so that it is responsive to the needs of the country.

3.   The Plan requires adequate and sustained financing to realize its goals and make a difference in people’s lives. Over the past years we have seen that a number of Local Government Authorities and Regional Secretariat budgets have dedicated some of their own resources to nutrition programming. This is promising. We would like to further encourage this practice – and see more LGAs prioritizing more domestic resources for nutrition. As it stands now, development partners provide a significant amount of the resources spent on nutrition. It is important that the impact of malnutrition is well understood at local levels and a commitment to combat it is also seen through the budget decisions at sub-national levels.

 

In summary, my three points were on strengthening sub-national coordination systems, developing a usable tailor-made multi-sectoral nutrition information system, and finding ways to even get more domestic resources at the local level for nutrition.

 

Let me end now by assuring the Government of Tanzania that, we, the United Nations Agencies, reiterate and underscore our collective support to the Government for a successful implementation of the National Multi-sectoral Nutrition Action Plan. We believe that, through wide-ranging partnerships and joint efforts, we can significantly reduce malnutrition and support Tanzania to realize its goal of becoming a healthy, prosperous and industrialized nation.

 

ASANTENI SANA