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1st Regional SUN Forum calls for more investment in nutrition

By Sheendy Olivares and Princess Lacorte/AdDU Interns


THE FIRST Regional Scaling Up Nutrition Forum emphasized the need to address prevalent issues in Davao Region, including more stakeholder investment in nutrition.

The forum, held at Apo View Hotel on May 16,  intended to garner support to implement and scale up actions to combat the alarming nutrition situation in the region.

In Davao Region, stunting is the most prevalent malnutrition type at 6.5% in 2021. Stunting refers to the slowed growth rate of the child. The figure was actually an improvement over 2020, when stunting was at 7.31%.

Davao Occidental had the highest stunting prevalence rate at 15.5%, followed by Davao Oriental (9.9%) and Davao del Sur (7.8%).

Dr. Maria Teresa  Ungson, National Nutrition Council XI’s regional nutrition program coordinator, highlighted how investing in nutrition is “smart.”

She said it would help break the poverty cycle and increase the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by at least 2 to 3% annually.

Additionally, investors may expect $30 (P1,600) returns in health, schooling, and economic productivity for every $1 (P54) they invest in nutrition.

Ungson cited how the Copenhagen Consensus 2012 Expert Panel, composed of world-renowned economists, pointed out how combating malnutrition should be policymakers’ and philanthropists’ top priority.

During her talk in the forum, NNC XI nutrition officer Alona Teo revealed that although prevalence rates in forms of malnutrition have decreased over six years from 2017 to 2022, these issues still significantly impact the communities. 

The SUN Movement stressed the importance of collaboration and convergence with sectors and stakeholders such as sub-national partners, development partners, academe, business, donors, civil society organizations, and government.

Recognizing that malnutrition has multiple causes is the movement’s basis in requiring the collective effort of multiple sectors. 

These efforts are also dedicated to achieving the PPAN (Philippine Plan of Action in Nutrition)  and RPAN (Regional Plan of Action in Nutrition) outcome targets aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

SUN’s Focal Point for Asia and Papua New Guinea Dr. Azucena Dayanghirang, encouraged the stakeholders and sector representatives to start a discourse on the ideas highlighted during the forum.


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