The Renewed Efforts Against Child Hunger and undernutrition (REACH) initiative works to enhance government and national capacity to effectively scale-up nutrition interventions in order to improve the nutrition and wellbeing of women and children. The Canadian Government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) is the leading supporter of this programme, providing funding for 8 of the 12 countries where REACH works and securing the future of children and women.
DFATD, working with REACH partners WFP, UNICEF, FAO and WHO, has committed to a renewed effort against child hunger and undernutrition, supporting practical, effective and holistic approaches for reducing undernutrition in some of the most heavily burdened countries. This innovative initiative on multi-sectoral nutrition governance is key to achieving sustainable development goals. In Mali, REACH facilitators played a pivotal role in fostering multi-sectoral dialogue and collaboration among stakeholders to support the development of the national action plan.
The underlying causes of child undernutrition - food insecurity; poor health services and health environment; and inadequate maternal and child care, are all known and preventable. REACH supports Governments and other stakeholders to strengthen capacity for actors to come together to foster awareness and consensus, strengthen national policies and plans and increase effectiveness and accountability in an effort to translate advocacy, policy, programmes and plans into action and results. REACH, with the support of DFATD, organised a Planning Retreat with stakeholders in Mozambique (April 2013) to help integrate nutrition into the annual (2014) socio-economic workplans/budgets of the Government.
REACH is contributing to outstanding results in Rwanda, one of the countries supported by DFATD where the prevalence of stunting among children under 5 years old decreased from 51.0% in 2005 (DHS) to 44.2% in 2010 (DHS).
REACH recent work in Bangladesh has helped development partners come together to define common messages and raise awareness about nutrition. This enables them to speak with one voice when engaging with members of government to help identify solutions for the country’s nutrition challenges. REACH has helped organise a series of multi-stakeholder workshops and forums to catalyse these efforts, thanks to the support of donors like Canada.
Image: Tanzania Situation Analysis Dashboard, Iringa Region. The REACH approach and supporting tools such as the dashboards play a critical role in consolidating different factors of undernutrition in a given context and prompting the scaling-up of nutrition actions. DFATD continues to take a global leadership role in maternal and child nutrition and wellbeing, and an active role in REACH.