The joint programme “Integrated Nutrition and Food Security Strategies for Children and Vulnerable Groups in Viet Nam” is a three-year programme that supports the Government of Viet Nam in addressing the continuing prevalence of malnutrition among the most vulnerable and in preventing future malnutrition. It does this through improving the monitoring of food security, nutrition and health; improving the capacity to deliver critical health and nutrition services including the appropriate care of the sick and malnourished, improved infant and young child feeding and the promotion of breastfeeding, and ensuring adequate intakes of iron, vitamin A and iodine including supplementation and salt iodization; and improving food security by increasing homestead food production and linking this to the increased consumption of a variety of safe, good quality food.
The programme combines both short-term strategies such as breastfeeding, iron and vitamin A supplementation to address current issues of malnutrition, with long-term policies and strategies that improve the quality of diets through the increased availability of improved crops and animal source foods (meat, milk and fish). The programme includes activities for strengthening information and mapping systems, including nutritional sentinel surveillance, food security and early warning, and market information systems, and for enhancing capacities in data collection, management, analysis and use for policy, programming and monitoring purposes. It contributes directly to the UNDAF and One Plan Outcomes in making quality social and protection services universally available to all Vietnamese people and strengthening policy making and institutional capacity for economic growth to be more inclusive and sustainable.
The Joint Programme will be implemented in strict accordance with a Results Framework, an integrated Work Plan and a detailed table for monitoring and evaluation purposes, the Programme Monitoring Framework. This table states in a clear manner five programme outcomes, the outputs, targets, indicators, means of verification and collection, and risks and assumptions related to the outputs. These tools will be instrumental in the execution of the activities planned and will enable monitoring of implementation, evaluation of outputs and measurement of indicators.
The joint programme has the following five outcomes:
1. Improved monitoring systems on food, health and nutrition status of mothers and children used to guide food, health and nutrition-related policies, strategies and actions;
2. Improved infant and young child feeding practices including increased compliance with the UNICEF/WHO guidelines on exclusive breastfeeding from 0-6 months and safe complementary feeding for children 6-24 months;
3. Reduction of micronutrient deficiencies in targeted children and women;
4. Improved care and treatment for children with severe malnutrition and improved nutrition services for young children in emergency situations;
5. Improvements in availability, access and consumption of a more diverse food supply in selected highland and mountainous regions in Vietnam.
The first outcome will be implemented at national level, the second outcome at national and at provincial levels and the other outcomes are to be undertaken in the following selected provinces (Cao Bằng, Điện Biên, Đắk Lắk, Kon Tum, Ninh Thuận, and An Giang). These provinces were selected based on their high levels of stunting (prevalence rates and numbers) as well as the presence of on-going activities and the capacity of agencies at field level to implement programme activities.
Outcome 5 contributes directly to the National Project for Food Security to 2020 with a vision to 2030 that was requested by the Prime Minister and Government of Viet Nam and represents part of the ongoing strategy for support and protection of vulnerable groups through better nutrition and the approach to Agriculture, Farmers and Rural Development (Tam Nông).