The European Commission (EC) is continuing to work strategically to secure traction on its commitments to reduce stunting and to allocate EUR 3.5 billion (2014-20) for this purpose1. Preliminary results for 2016 indicate a three-fold increase in the EC’s commitments to nutrition since 2014.
This is a significant development, but this pace of investment needs to be maintained in order to reach the pledge by 2020. The scope to achieve this lies in the strategic design of programmes that are still to be funded – especially in the focal sectors of Food & Nutrition Security, Sustainable Agriculture, Health and Education – so that nutrition is integrated alongside other objectives. This approach is particularly relevant to the new EU Consensus on Development which places emphasis on human development and dignity as well as partnership, prosperity, peace and the planet itself.
Kenya has made significant progress in reducing the prevalence of stunting from over 40% in the mid 1990s to 26% in 2014. According to the Global Nutrition Report (GNR) of 2016, Kenya is on track to meet the World Health Assembly (WHA) target for 2025, but the EU analysis (based on longer historical trends) is more cautious. In some of the arid and semi-arid areas of Kenya stunting of children under-five is still recorded at over 40%, together with high levels of micronutrient deficiencies.This is because these areas are particularly vulnerable to climate change, gender disparities, limited access to water, sanitation and poor infant feeding practices.
The EU is actively supporting the Government’s Ending Drought Emergencies (EDE) strategy to address food and nutrition insecurity in the most vulnerable counties and to build resilience through sustainable livelihoods. Kenya has a strong Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) network and the EU is currently the donor convenor.
Progress against the World Health Assembly targets
Data last referenced by EU