LAOS, EU, UNICEF TO BOLSTER INFORMATION ON NUTRITION
Vientiane Times-Oct 8
The European Union (EU) has forecast a budget of around US$3 million to strengthen information systems for nutrition in Laos from 2018-2021 with the project to be implemented by UNICEF.
The new project, known as the National Information Platforms for Nutrition (NIPN), is part of ongoing development assistance to improve nutrition in the country and in support of the National Nutrition Strategy 2016-2025.
The NIPN project will be carried out at the National Economic Research Institute (NIER) over a 4-year period with the Ministry of Planning and Investment and support from related line ministries and partners.
The international initiative is being supported by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The nutrition information system will generate quality data, perform analysis, track progress and use the information for policy development, contributing to expanding and scaling up effective programs and allocating more public funding for nutrition activities.
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, Dr Kikeo Chanthabouly speaking at the project launch on Friday, said “The establishment and use of the NIPN initiative will help Laos to strengthen national capacity to manage and analyze information and data from all sectors which have an influence on nutrition, to track progress, and to disseminate and use information to better inform the policies and strategic decisions that prevent undernutrition and its consequences”.
The overall goal of NIPN is to contribute to the global reduction of stunting (chronic undernutrition) in alignment with the World Health Assembly 2025 targets.
Ambassador of the European Union to Laos, Mr Leo Faber stated that “Strengthening the multi-sectoral approach to combat all forms of malnutrition is also dependent on the availability of nutrition information and related systems. It is an essential step to establish a national information platform that has the capabilities to generate information for policy dialogue and debate and that will contribute significantly to how nutrition programs can be improved to meet changing conditions and the future context.”
Comprehensive data generated from the NIPN will be the basis for the National Nutrition Committee’s Annual Progress Report on the implementation of the National Nutrition Strategy to 2025 and Plan of Action to 2020 (NNSPA).
UNICEF Representative, Mr Octavian Bivol said having the system in place would maximize the analysis and interpretation of existing information and data on nutrition to understand better the factors that influence it.