July 13, 2017
Nutrition courses for parents reduce child malnutrition in Viet Nam



Childhood stunting remains one of the fundamental challenges for improved human development in Viet Nam. Almost 2.1 million children under 5 in Viet Nam are considered too short for their age, or stunted. In the rural provinces of Ninh Thuan and Lao Cai, parents, caregivers and farmers receive information and training on nutrition, child care and household food security thanks to a SDG Fund program. The application of these lessons has allowed these communities to significantly reduce their child malnutrition rates: from 62 percent at the beginning of the program to 43 percent, just two years later.

Community based models on nutrition and food security developed and implemented by program "Integrated nutrition and food security strategies for children and vulnerable Groups in Viet Nam" include training in essential health care, nutrition, water and sanitation and household crop, livestock and aquaculture production. These knowledge is mainstreaming to provide a comprehensive intervention that guarantees nutrition and food security at the household and community level.             



“After attending the project's technical training and participating in chicken raising, vegetable and maize models, as well as nutritional parent club, I knew how to raise chickens and grow maize with high productivity. The maize yield tripled and I have additional income to buy more nutritious food for family use. I also learned to prepare nutritious foods for children and pregnant women", said Ms. Chamaléa Thị Cúc, a beneficiary and residente of Phuoc Thanh commune, in Ninh Thuan ".

Around 36 million women of reproductive age and 7.1 million children under five benefit from approved policies and model generation by the SDG Fund program in Viet Nam, including 17,000 children under 5 and women in 7 programme communes in Ninh Thuan and Lao Cai provinces. This program, which is funded by the Spanish Cooperation through its initial contribution to the SDG Fund, is implemented by three specialized UN agencies - FAO, UNICEF and WHO - in collaboration with government ministries, private sector representatives and civil society organizations.

After attending the project's technical training and participating in chicken raising, vegetable and maize models, I knew how to raise chickens and grow maize with high productivity. The maize yield tripled and I have additional income to buy more nutritious food for family use

Chamalea Hi Cuc
beneficiary and resident of Ninh Thuan

Strengthening nutritional policies

The program began in March 2015 with the aim of contributing to the efforts of the national government against the challenge of nutrition and food security in some of the most vulnerable areas of the country. Specifically, it targeted the most disadvantaged ethnic minorities seeking to expand national policies, reduce poverty rates and ensure food and nutrition for the inhabitants of Lao Cai and Nihn Thuan, two provinces that double poverty rates of the rest of the country.

The action of the SDG Fund program has contributed to strengthening national nutrition policies in Vietnam. Achievements in this area include the approval by the central Government of the national Decree on mandatory food fortification; the national Guideline on integrated management of severe acute malnutrition (IMAM); national Decree 100 on breastmilk substitutes for children below 24 months, and complementary food for children under 6 months of age; Early Essential New Born Care (EENC) guideline and national rice sector restructuring proposal and restructuring agriculture proposal of Ninh Thuan and Lao Cai provinces.

Parent courses have contributed to achieving Objective 2 “Zero Hunger” of the 2030 Agenda. Specifically, this activity has a positive impact on the following targets:

  • 2.2 By 2030, to end all forms of malnutrition, including by 2015, the internationally agreed targets for stunting and wasting of children under 5, and addressing the nutritional needs of Adolescents, pregnant and lactating women and the elderly.
  • 2.3 By 2030, to double agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishermen, inter alia through secure and equitable access to Land, other production resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for the generation of added value and non-agricultural jobs.
  • 2.4 By 2030, ensure the sustainability of food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, contribute to the maintenance of ecosystems, strengthen the ability to adapt to climate change, extreme weather events, droughts , Floods and other disasters, and progressively improve the quality of soil and land.