Graça Machel visits Namibia with Focus on Partnership to Improve Nutrition

Mrs. Graça Machel, the former first lady of Mozambique and South Africa and co-founder of Synergos’ Mozambican partner the Foundation for Community Development, was in Namibia in November for a series of events related to efforts to fight malnutrition in that country. Despite being an upper middle income country, almost 30% of children under the age of five show signs of stunting.

Actors from the public sector, private section and civil society are working together to address this problem through the , which was established by Rt. Honorable Nahas Angula, the Prime Minister, in 2010. Synergos is a co-founder of NAFIN and serves as its secretariat.

“The Government of Namibia knows what needs to be done to fight malnutrition in our country,” said Prime Minister Angula. “We need the commitment of all sectors of society to work together to implement a comprehensive approach that includes creating policies that will address the inequities that persist among regions, ethnic groups and wealth quintiles, combining the skills and resources we have for better and efficient allocation of resources where they are most needed.”

Mrs. Machel said, “We have witnessed the extraordinary commitment by Namibia in NAFIN - and subsequent endorsement of the Alliance by Cabinet - this has laid the foundation and has given us confidence in the country’s quest to fight malnutrition...The world’s attention is on Namibia, and we must all be held accountable for success here as we seek to end malnutrition across the globe.”

“As Namibia is working to put nutrition at the heart of their development policies, it offers an opportune environment for collaboration and aligning support from international donors, private sector, civil society movements and even more so from communities,” said Micaela Marques De Sousa, UNICEF Representative in Namibia. “This movement brings together a diverse group of stakeholders who share a common goal-improving maternal and child nutrition in Namibia.”

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