In April 2013, the Government of Zambia launched the National Food and Nutrition Strategic Plan. The first strategic priority within the Strategic Plan is the prevention of stunting by focusing on the First 1000 Most Critical Days of life. To this end, a First 1000 Most Critical Days Programme was developed by the National Food and Nutrition Commission of Zambia and collaborating partners.
The Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Fund is a joint financing mechanism established to support the Zambian National First 1000 Most Critical Days Programme. The aim of the SUN Fund is to promote harmonization and alignment among key cooperating partners and stakeholders, avoiding duplication of efforts as well as reducing transaction costs for all partners including the Government of Zambia.
CARE and its partners, Concern Worldwide and the Nutrition Association of Zambia , are the managing agents of the SUN Fund, and they commission work to support the National Food and Nutrition Commission of Zambia and the key line ministries. To date much of the work supported by the SUN Fund has focussed on increasing the capacity to provide nutrition services in 14 priority Districts, but now the aim is shifting to a scale up nutrition services across the whole country through support to national and district level government line ministries. In addition, to supporting the Government, the SUN Fund provides grants to NGOs and academic institutions to scale up the 14 priority interventions, conduct operations research and initiate innovations that could be taken to scale in Zambia.
HPI is providing a range of technical assistance to the SUN fund in Zambia to support the scale up and outputs include a mapping of current interventions to highlight service provision gaps and a cost and investment analysis included in the scale up plan.
Kate Godden is technical lead for HPI.