Multisectoral Nutrition Partnership: Mozambique

Big Win

Food and Nutrition Security has been a long-term priority of the government of Mozambique but progress in the reduction of stunting has been very slow. Stunting prevalence remains unacceptably high at 43 percent and recognizing the substantial multiple benefits from nutrition for development, the government has prioritized investing in nutrition as a crucial down-payment on future prosperity for the country. Big Win joined forces with Prime Minister Agostinho do Rosario and Graça Machel to bring transformative impact on the multisectoral nutrition response, particularly in terms of elevating nutrition leadership to the highest Political Office in Mozambique.

Besides the national level engagement, Big Win is providing support to Governor Victor Borges of Nampula Province. Despite being one of the most fertile and most populous regions of Mozambique, Nampula Province registers the highest stunting rate in the country for children under five (51%). The damage caused by stunting is irreversible, severely affecting a child’s potential to live a healthy and productive life. The Governor requested for Big Win to carry out a ‘deep dive’ diagnostic study to examine the root causes of stunting and the rollout of nutrition-smart interventions in Nampula. If substantial progress is made in Nampula, it will significantly impact progress at the national level.

43% of children stunted in Mozambique
51% of children stunted in Nampula Province

The Mozambique – Big Win Partnership

Mozambique’s stunting prevalence of 43% is the highest in the South African Development Community (SADC) and the fourth highest among countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Eliminating stunting in Mozambique is a necessary step for sustained economic development.

Nampula’s population of about 5 million people, (20% of the national population) registers the highest stunting levels for children under five (51%). In view of the high stunting prevalence in Nampula and in recognition of the importance of nutrition to the health, wellbeing, and productivity of the population, H.E. Governor Victor Borges requested technical assistance from Big Win Philanthropy and the Foundation for Community Development (FDC) in designing and implementing a new approach to tackling the problem.

Big Win’s contribution is to lay a foundation for the successful implementation of the National Council for Food and Nutrition Security (CONSAN) strategic plan at the national level and secure provincial level baseline data in Nampula province to inform a provincial strategy to accelerate stunting reduction. This will ensure the government can establish a discerning strategy that will optimize the deployment of resources to have the greatest impact.

With assistance from Big Win, the government has mobilized an unprecedented multisectoral effort to coordinate national and provincial efforts to end undernutrition. This includes interventions to improve diets, water and sanitation at household levels and ensure sustainable agricultural production and practices. It also includes the launch of a social movement, aimed at mobilizing grassroots action to end stunting at the community level.

Big Win’s Support

Big Win is supporting both the federal government of Mozambique and the provincial government in Nampula across a range of areas including those outlined below.

Establishing a national framework for cross-sectoral action: Big Win has supported the government of Mozambique to lay the foundations for the successful implementation of the National Council for Food and Nutrition Security (CONSAN) strategic plan. This will ensure the government can optimize the deployment of resources across sectors to have the greatest impact.

Provincial action plan: Big Win has supported the development and implementation of an evidence-based provincial action plan in Nampula. We supported a baseline survey, which included a data landscape review, stakeholder mapping, a qualitative behavioral drivers study, quantitative estimates of stunting and drivers of stunting and institutional capacity assessments. This baseline survey has informed an ambitious and innovative provincial strategy to accelerate stunting reduction.

Launch of a social movement to end stunting: Building on the findings from the behavioral drivers study, Governor Victor Borges launched a social movement in May 2019 to accelerate stunting reduction in Nampula province, with Big Win’s support. The goal of the social movement is to foster community ownership and cross-sector collaboration, generating sustained action to improve nutrition during the critical first 1,000 days of life. The social movement will empower communities and households to become the agents of change, equipping them with the information and tools they need to ensure that every child has a healthy start to life.

Some of the key activities being undertaken by the movement are detailed below.
Mobilizing international partners: Alongside the social movement, assistance is also needed to improve access to quality and diverse foods for households and communities and build new water and sanitation infrastructure to limit poor hygiene. Big Win is supporting the government at both the national and provincial level to mobilize the resources needed in these areas to deliver a significant reduction in stunting.