Manila, Philippines – The Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF) and Nutrition International have joined forces to strengthen the capacity of mayors and other health leaders to deliver improved nutrition services in urban areas of the Philippines. The partners will support improved nutrition planning, financing, and governance in the cities of Puerto Princesa, Tacurong and Tagum.
Local governments in the Philippines are accountable for the delivery of nutrition services to their constituents but are given little information about managing malnutrition in decentralized systems and urban contexts. The partnership will address urban inequities and challenges affecting the nutrition status of populations in need, particularly adolescent mothers, indigenous women and children, urban poor and informally employed women with young children, and transient families in urban areas.
The project aims to reduce undernutrition in the First 1,000 Days, a priority recognized by the government with the adoption of the Philippines’ First 1,000 Days Law. The first 1,000 days, from conception to the child’s second birthday, is a critical window to prevent undernutrition and promote the development of the child. The project will develop models for urban nutrition governance that can be mainstreamed in other cities.
“Scaling up nutrition depends on strong commitments and capacity from government at all levels and we are excited about this partnership because it focuses on strengthening local leadership. Thanks to support from Canada, Nutrition International is pleased to be working with ZFF and leadership in the Cities of Puerto Princesa, Tacurong and Tagum to increase investments in nutrition for women and children,” said Joel Spicer, President and CEO of Nutrition International.
In the next two years, the collaboration will strengthen capacity of partner city mayors and governments to plan, finance, and govern integrated nutrition service delivery networks. The project will coach and mentor city and village governments on systems-approach for nutrition through enabling policies and participatory governance, multi-sectoral collaboration, and improvements in technical capacities of health and nutrition workers.
The project will be delivered in close collaboration with the Department of Health, the National Nutrition Council and other institutions.
“To improve nutrition, we will build on ZFF’s extensive experience working with local governments. Committed local government leaders provide the strategic vision which will drive health and nutrition workers and multisector partners to achieve a common goal. Committed mayors also provide the resources needed to implement programs effectively,” said Ernesto Garilao, President of ZFF.
The partnership was launched in Makati City on July 10, 2019. Mayors of the participating cities attended the launch and committed to providing improved services for pregnant women and young children.
To find out more about this partnership, read our Fact Sheet