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Joint Nutrition Support Programme

UNICEF and WHO have fully committed $85.3 million in funding to 18 projects under their Joint Nutrition Support Programme (JNSP). Funded since 1982 by the Italian Government, the programme has three long term objectives: to reduce child and infant mortality and morbidity, improve child growth and development, and improve maternal nutrition. It seeks to do so through a strategy described as “multisectoral, preventative and developmental”. Country projects within the JNSP are designed and executed according to the principles of Primary Health Care, involving health sector development activities such as immunization and diarrhoeal disease control. They also promote nutritional objectives in sectors such as agriculture, education and social development.

In Burma, for example, the JNSP has been instrumental in the integration of nutrition-related activities, such as growth monitoring, nutrition education and the distribution of essential drugs, into the country's national primary health care system. In Haiti, the JNSP project is using social mobilization to increase public use of oral rehydration therapy, while in nearby Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines project activities include the training of community workers and development of income-generating activities for women.

Projects in Africa

Almost half of the projects are underway in Africa. A multisectoral project in Mozambique is supporting household food production, use of improved crop varieties and agricultural training for women and promoting greater community awareness of nutrition issues. Two projects in northeast and southern Sudan seek to integrate services in health, agriculture, animal husbandry, water, education and social welfare. In Ethiopia, a project of multisectoral action is being tested as a model for other such projects throughout the country.

WHO and UNICEF report that almost 90 percent of the Joint Nutrition Support Programme's resources have been committed to such projects, the remainder being used for intercountry support activities such as public information, research, special programming for nomads and development of training methodologies.