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Kenya’s Kajiado County launched its County Nutrition Action Plan (CNAP) on October 14, committing Ksh51 million (US$500,000) to improve the nutrition status of its population. The five-year plan, developed with technical and financial support from Nutrition International, will help mainstream nutrition into Kajiado’s development plans and budgets to reduce the burden of malnutrition in the county.

The CNAP provides practical guidance for implementing proven, cost-effective and high-impact nutrition interventions. It recognizes the role of nutrition as a fundamental human right and a driver to accelerating economic development as envisioned in the Government of Kenya’s Vision 2030. It also defines a coordination mechanism for various actions across sectors, including health, agriculture, education, water, gender and social protection. The plan is aligned with the Kajiado County Integrated Development Plan, the County Health Strategy and Investment Plan, County Medium-Term Expenditure Plans and the Kenya Nutrition Action Plan.

“The County Nutrition Action Plan builds into the county’s deliberate efforts to prioritize nutritional services in our food security and healthcare interventions,” said County Governor H.E. Joseph Ole Lenku while addressing participants at the CNAP launch. “Going forward, we shall match these interventions with necessary budget allocations, particularly to ensure sustainability of maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition interventions in the county.”

One in four children in Kajiado are affected by acute malnutrition, while 44% of women and girls are overweight, much higher than the national average. Nutrition International has been working in the county since 2017 to improve the health and nutrition of women and children.

“We have made tremendous progress in scaling up efforts to address malnutrition in Kajiado County,” said Martha Nyagaya, Country Director, Nutrition International Kenya. “This could not have been possible without the support and contribution of the county government and other nutrition partners. We call upon the governor and the county leadership to pursue a long-term approach to sustainable financing of nutrition in order to support the implementation of the CNAP.”

In total, the CNAP will cost Ksh 1.8 billion to implement. In addition to the county government’s allocation, other partners have committed resources and technical support, including Nutrition International, Welthungerhilfe, World Vision, FEED, UNICEF, Dupotu-e-maa and the Kenya Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance.

Nutrition International has provided technical and financial support to the development of 16 of the 23 CNAPs completed in Kenya. Kajiado County’s CNAP is the ninth to be launched.