At a minimum, we must:

  • Prioritise nutrition interventions across multiple sectors, such as integrating MUAC screening in programming in all sectors to ensure children who need wasting treatment are identified and referred.
  • Prioritise people most vulnerable to malnutrition in WASH, health, food security, social protection and nutrition programmes to improve their nutrition status. This includes children, women of reproductive age, and pregnant and breastfeeding women.
  • Provide multi-year flexible funding and not withdraw funding, to ensure continuity of programming across sectors.
  • Work together to tailor programming to people’s needs and prevent programming gaps. This requires actively participating in coordination mechanisms and decision-making discussions in all sectors, including the nutrition sector.

Back our call to prioritize nutrition in Myanmar

There are urgent actions that humanitarians in Myanmar must take responsibility for. Scroll down to see all our recommendations, or jump to these individual sections:

                                                                   Back our call to prioritize nutrition

A severely malnourished child is 12 X more likely to die from all causes than a well-nourished child

@Tim Harcourt-Powell

1/ WASH, Food Security, Cash, and Health sectors

All sectorsto prioritise nutrition interventions, including incorporating MUAC screening in nutrition-sensitive services to increase monitoring of wasting cases and allow for trend analysis. In addition, specific sector actions include:

WASH sector

  • Invest in WASH infrastructureto prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases that increase the risk of malnutrition.
  • Scale-up the provision of soap and hygiene kitsto ensure communities have the resources to practice good hygiene.

Food Security  and Cash sectors

  • Food security and cash sectors to maintain access to and scale-up the provision of food and cash distributions, to address increasing food prices and meet increasing humanitarian needs.

Health sector

  • Prioritise lifesaving nutrition services, such as treatment of wasting and infant and young child feeding, through mainstreaming into health services to prevent further risk of service disruption.
  • Identify humanitarian health partners and modalities to fill current and anticipated gaps in nutrition-related care services, including mobile clinics.

Only 21% of children < 5 in Myanmar meet the minimum dietary diversity

16% meet the minimum acceptable diet(DHS 2015).

@Tim Harcourt-Powell

2/ Nutrition sector

including SUN Network, national and international organisations, and UN agencies

  • Actively contribute to advocacy and coordination efforts to ensure nutrition remains a priority in Myanmar.
  • Support rapid nutrition assessments to build the evidence base on the nutrition situation and to monitor trends. Support the development of the nutrition sector’s roadmap for improved nutrition data including the development of data visualisation tools.
  • Support sector-wide capacity and service mapping to identify capacity, gaps, and resources needed to scale-up nutrition services.
  • Identify the barriers and bottlenecks to providing nutrition programming and implement practical solutions.
  • Increase national capacity through mentorship and by shifting responsibilities from international organisations to national organisations, in support of the localisation strategy in Myanmar. National partners are the key to the response, particularly if access deteriorates further.

7% of infants and children under 5 in Myanmar suffer from wasting

= they are a low weight for their length/height.

@Tim Harcourt-Powell

3/ Cluster Lead Agency (UNICEF)

  • As the nutrition cluster lead agency, advocate for and ensure adequate coverage of emergency response programming centered on critical lifesaving nutrition interventions and ensure nutrition is prioritised throughout the humanitarian response in Myanmar.
  • Lead on coordination of nutrition capacity-buildingefforts, particularly for national partners, to support the localisation strategy in Myanmar.
  • Support service mapping and identification of gapsin nutrition programming.
  • Ensure nutrition coordination mechanisms are in place, active, effective and funded at both the national and subnational levels.

More than 1 in 4 children (27%) under-5 are shorter than they should be for their age in Myanmar

@Tim Harcourt-Powell

4/ Donors

  • Provide flexible, long-term, multi-year fundingwhich is crucial for programmes to adapt to shocks in a timely manner.
  • Prevent withdrawing support(including financial support) and allow reprogramming of funds where needed.
  • Provide resources to support rapid nutrition assessmentsto provide the evidence base for appropriate nutrition programming.
  • Ensure funding allows for adequate emergency response programming centered on critical lifesaving nutrition services, while building on existing long-term development plans.
  • Consult the nutrition sector to identify priorities in the nutrition response prior to approving funding to ensure funding is directed where it is most needed.
  • Increase funding to national and local organisations and build their capacity to manage funding appropriately.
  • Increase funding for hygiene kits, soap and WASH infrastructure to ensure preventative programming for both undernutrition and COVID-19 is implemented. 
  • Increase funding for food and cash distributionsto ensure vulnerable populations have access to sufficient food.

                                             Back our call to prioritize nutrition

@Tim Harcourt-Powell

Find out more

You can find out more about HARP-F’s work to help tackle access to nutrition in Myanmar at our Focus On: Nutrition page. Or find out more about the situation generally through the resources below:

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