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Elgeyo Marakwet County, Kenya – The Government of Elgeyo Marakwet County, with support from Nutrition International, launched its County Nutrition Action Plan (CNAP) 2018/19-2022/23. The plan, which recognizes the role of nutrition as a fundamental human right and a driver to accelerating economic development as envisioned in Vision 2030, defines a coordination mechanism for various actions across sectors, including health, agriculture, education, water and sports.

Nutrition International provided technical and financial assistance for the development of the CNAP. Since 2016, Nutrition International, through the Enhancing Nutrition Services to Improve Maternal and Child Health (ENRICH) project and Nutrition Technical Assistance Mechanism (NTEAM)’s Technical Assistance for Nutrition (TAN) project, funded with Government of Canada and UK Aid from the UK Government, has been a key partner of the Government of Elgeyo Marakwet in its efforts to address the burden of malnutrition.

“Since the launch of the ENRICH Program in 2016, we have made tremendous progress in scaling up efforts to eradicate malnutrition in Elgeyo Marakwet County. This could not have been possible without the technical and financial support of our consortium partners,” said Governor Alex Tolgos. “The County Nutrition Action Plan that we are launching today further builds into the County’s deliberate efforts to prioritize nutritional services in our food security and healthcare interventions.”

While Elgeyo Marakwet County has improved access to basic health services, nutrition indicators are still troubling. Rates of stunting and underweight in children are higher than the national average, while the number of women who make the recommended four antenatal care visits is low, at only 24%.

Aligned with the Kenya Nutrition Action Plan and County Integrated Development Plan 2018-2023, the CNAP identifies priority nutrition interventions across sectors, estimating the cost of implementation and setting realistic targets in a common results and accountability framework. The CNAP fosters sustainability by ensuring the county has a roadmap and the commitment to continue addressing the problem of malnutrition.

“We would like to call upon the governor and the leadership to pursue a long-term approach to sustainable financing for nutrition in order to support CNAP implementation and continuity of ENRICH project interventions,” said Dr. Richard Pendame, Regional Director for Nutrition International, while speaking at the launch.

Nutrition International has developed tools to support advocacy for increased investments in nutrition and resource mobilization to implement the CNAP, including the county nutrition advocacy plan, county investment case and county nutrition profile.

ENRICH is led by World Vision, with support from consortium partners Nutrition International, Canadian Society for International Health, HarvestPlus and the University of Toronto.