International humanitarian response is coordinated by a system that is comprised of individual groups categorized by areas of responsibility, known as “clusters”. The Global Nutrition Cluster (GNC) is headed by UNICEF and aims to safeguard and improve nutrition of people affected by emergencies. GNC supports countries to respond to nutrition needs in a timely and appropriate manner, with the overall goal to fight malnutrition globally.
Afghanistan has been recognized as a “high priority country” by the GNC for tackling nutrition. According to the 2013 National Nutrition Survey, approximately 41% of children suffer from chronic malnutrition. Furthermore, malnutrition is not only a major problem for children but also for pregnant and lactating women in Afghanistan.
The new partnership with GNC is an important first step in AfD’s effort to scale up nutrition projects in Afghanistan. To kick-start this new partnership, AfD’s Public Health Nutritionist Alison Farnham participated in the GNC Annual Meeting (10 – 12 October 2017) in Geneva, where experts came together discussing their experiences, progress and challenges, and how best to improve nutrition response in future.
We are looking forward to seeing where this journey takes us, as we further develop and implement AfD’s nutrition project in Afghanistan.