Regional approaches to delivering healthy diets for all in South Asia

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Regional Approaches to Delivering Healthy Diets for All in South Asia

Although progress has been made on reducing undernutrition in South Asia, all countries across the region continue experience the triple burden of malnutrition, including undernutrition, anaemia, and obesity. Improving diet quality further will require integrated policies that support nutrition-sensitive food systems at regional level, given that these systems extend across borders.

To address the complexity of the challenge, senior policymakers, researchers and academics from South Asia have initiated development of the ‘South Asian Policy Leadership for Improved Nutrition and Growth’ (SAPLING) initiative, which aims to champion the development of integrated actions to combat malnutrition in all its forms at local, national and regional levels.

The vision is for SAPLING to use its high level membership to drive increased visibility of the need for healthy diets for all in South Asia, to build coalitions and partnerships, and to create a regional platform for exchange of knowledge related to common threats and best practices among South Asian countries. It will promote better alignment of agriculture and food systems to deliver safe, nutritious and affordable food for each person at every stage of life, and catalyze policy change to respond to cross-border influences such as climate change and regional trade.

Building on previous meetings held in New Delhi, India in 2016, participants in this meeting identified key priorities and a plan of action to take the SAPLING initiative forward.

Participants in the meeting:

  • Emmy Simmons, Global Panel Member
  • Prof. Srinath Reddy, Global Panel Member
  • Dr. Purvi Mehta, Asia Lead- Agriculture, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Dr. Srivalli Krishnan, Senior Programme Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Dr Manu Mathur, Associate Prof, PHFI
  • Khampa, CEO, Bhutanpedia
  • Ms. Simone Field, Nutrition Advisor, DFID, British High Commission
  • Mr. Akhter Ahmed, Country Director, IFPRI
  • Dr. Rudaba Khondokar, Country Director, GAIN
  • Prof. Abdul Bayes, Director, Research and Evaluation Division, BRAC
  • Dr. Kasoar Afsana, Director, Health, Nutrition and Population, BRAC
  • Prof. Patrick Webb, Global Panel Technical Adviser
  • Prof. Sandy Thomas, Global Panel Director

Dhaka events – Day 1 and 2

Prof Patrick Webb overview of diets and nutrition in South Asia [Power Point]