The Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Business Network was launched on Thursday, May 31, 2018 in Vientiane.
The SUN Business Network (SBN) is part of the global Scaling Up Nutrition Network.
The SBN in the Lao PDR is supported by the National Nutrition Committee Secretariat, the World Food Programme and the European Union, in collaboration with UNICEF, Population Service International and Save the Children.
The network will establish a unique business platform supporting Lao companies to improve nutrition, and joining the government efforts to fight malnutrition in the country, as highlighted in the National Nutrition Strategy, Plan of Action 2016-2020.
Businesses are increasingly recognizing that nutrition is closely linked to business growth, performance and sustainability and that malnutrition has a significant impact on economic development.
Enhancing nutrition communication, healthy behavior in working environments and building nutrition related business capacities will increase productivity and lead to economic growth.
The SBN is a unique platform to engage the private sector to provide local solutions for improving access and availability of nutritious food, products and services.
There is a huge potential for Lao companies to develop partnership for aligning the core commercial priorities with national nutrition goals, said Assoc. Prof. Dr Phouthone Muongpak, Vice Minister of Health and Chair of the National Nutrition Committee Secretariat.
The SUN Business Network aims to identify ways to mobilize businesses to invest in nutrition and sustainable operations.
As a neutral platform, it works across different sectors and stakeholders, based on each partner’s added value and business interest, while sharing international experience and knowledge.
The private sector is a key partner in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and leading towards zero hunger by 2030, said Sarah Gordon-Gibson, World Food Programme Country Director and Representative in the Lao PDR.
The Global SBN has more than 400 members in 13 countries and aims to build partnerships covering multiple stakeholders ranging from agriculture, food production and processing, infrastructure systems, logistics and other, all committed to scaling up nutrition.
The presence of business leaders in the SBN launch show the commitment of the private sector for the government’s efforts for reducing malnutrition, said Mr Leo Faber, the EU Ambassador to Laos.
The SUN Business Network in the Lao PDR, second within ASEAN is dedicated for promoting partnerships across a multi stakeholder environment and encouraging business to recognize the importance of improving nutrition.
Source: Lao News Agency