New era of SUN Movement is brewing in Peru

New era of SUN Movement is brewing in Peru

UN actors are coming together and waving the nutrition flag high in Peru. Joint nutrition advocacy and studies, including the systemization of experiences and lessons learned in anaemia reduction, are some of the fruits that this UN collaboration is bearing which, in turn, are fueling related advocacy and communications. These efforts are helping to keep nutrition on the political agenda in spite of changes in the government− most recently the Prime Minister and Cabinet as well as the President about one year ago. They are also helping to give way to a new era of the SUN Movement in the country− one that is tackling multiple of forms of malnutrition from stunting to anaemia, overweight and obesity. This surge of energy is welcomed by the nutrition community following the retirement of the respected and adored nutrition champion from civil society, who many know as ‘Milo’, as well as staff turnover across many other stakeholders.

Members of UN leadership in the country, including the UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC) and the Representative and Country Director of WFP, acknowledge that effective UN nutrition support it is not just a question of working collectively on nutrition, but also understanding the complementarity of the respective UN agencies’ activities in this area− even those who are newer-comers to nutrition, such as UNFPA. The UNRC has recently taken initial steps to spearhead collective dialogue on nutrition among the UN family, leading the UN meeting that took place with the SUN Movement Coordinator, Gerda Verburg in early April. Multiple UN agencies stand ready to further align and coordinate UN nutrition support. Behind the scenes, the UN Network Secretariat shared insights from other countries as a source of inspiration, where UNRCs are increasingly active in nutrition (e.g. Burkina Faso, the Comoros, Liberia, Zimbabwe).

SUN Movement Global Coordinator & ExCom members in Peru

Ms. Verburg’s visit provided an opportunity to cement these measures. During her trip, Ms. Verburg travelled to UN programming sites along with SUN Executive Committee members Ms. Lauren Landis, Director of the WFP Nutrition Division, and Fokko Wientjes from Royal DSM,  where they saw iron-rich meals prepared for children under three years old as part of ongoing efforts to combat anaemia. She also attended the filming of an innovative WFP-Government TV show (Cocina con Causa), which promotes good eating practices, capitalizing on Peru’s acclaimed food culture and local ingredients and chefs. UN colleagues now have a better understanding of how the UN Network platform empowers the United Nations to ‘deliver as one’, with potential to impart learnings to other areas of the UN portfolio for achieving the SDGs. Since her visit, UN agencies are starting to identify focal points to formalize the country’s UN Network and reflect upon who will chair it in this new chapter of SUN history.

Photo credit @ WFP Pilar Celi