A national nutrition movement Baliyo Nepal has been launched on Friday by President Bidya Bhandari amidst a special function at President’s Office, Shital Niwas. Baliyo Nepal seeks to mobilize the private sector and civil society to assist Nepal’s efforts in the reduction of chronic malnutrition and hunger.
Addressing the launching ceremony, President Bhandari highlighted the necessity for all stakeholders to work collectively to improve the status of nutrition for children and women of reproductive age. “All three layers of the government, communities, civil societies, donors, and scientific communities should work in tandem to fight malnutrition among children and women of reproductive age,” Bhandari said.
He added that commercial advertisements in the media have severely affected the choice of food items among children.
Dr. Swarnim Wagle the Chairperson of Baliyo Nepal said that Nepal should intensify efforts to bring the level of stunting among children to 15% by 2030 to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Dr. Swarnim Wagle the Chairperson of Baliyo Nepal said that Nepal should intensify efforts to bring the level of stunting among children to 15% by 2030 to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Wagle said, “As we see our current efforts in terms of national investments and donors assistance, it looks like we would only be able to reduce it to 23 percent, It is important to engage the private sector and civil society to realize the goals to complement government efforts.”
Dr Wagle said that the organization is presenting a variety of interventions to improve food habits, directing at lower-income minor girls, women of conceptive age and children from 6 to 23 months.
Chairman Wagle stated that Baliyo Nepal is building collaboration with the food business to increase the stock of affordable and nutritious food and creating the demand for these stocks over social marketing and behaviour change interventions. Baliyo Nepal is a not-for-profit organization, currently supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Dr Pusha Raj Kadel, Vice-Chairman of the National Planning Commission praised Baliyo Nepal for taking the private sector on board the initiative. “It is a praiseworthy initiative as it brings the private sector together with the government to fight against malnutrition and realize the national goals of reducing stunting in children,” he stated.
The movement will begin from Province 5 in the first phase.
Chief Minister of Pradesh 5, Shankar Pokharel asked the private sector to utilise basic nutritional measures while providing readymade foods. He also highlighted the demand for promoting Nepal’s traditional food.
“Business, as usual, won’t improve the status of malnutrition in Nepal,” stated Kamel Chida, a representative of Bill Gates and Melinda Foundation.
Board members of Baliyo Nepal Nirvana Chaudhary and Anil Shah highlighted the value of the private sector performing the movement successful. They also stated that Baliyo Nepal would not settle on the nutritional standards of food products.
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