Coordinated by UN OCHA and led by UNICEF, the Global Nutrition Cluster was established in 2006 as part of the UN Humanitarian Reform process. GNC aims to improve the effectiveness of humanitarian response programs by ensuring predictability, accountability and partnership in these programs
Why is it important for AVSI to be a partner?
Being a partner of the Global Nutrition Cluster is a key result of decades of AVSI’s work in humanitarian settings. In fact, AVSI has been working since 1972 in many disaster-affected countries where the prevalence of acute malnutrition was very high; AVSI increased progressively its interest and expertise in Community Management of Acute Malnutrition and worked a lot focusing on the systematic inclusion of psychosocial support for children and vulnerable mothers at risk. This experience is now brought to a new and important international platform. The partnership with the GNC and other members will enhance AVSI’s capacities, and positive relations with key stakeholders.
What is the difference between partners and observers? A partner is an organization which enjoys a consultative relationship and may participate actively in the GNC conference, consultations and field missions. On the other end, an observer is an organization that can only observe, does not have the right to vote and has limited influence on policy making.
Could you please give us an idea of the history of AVSI in terms of working with nutrition in emergency situations?
AVSI is an International NGO with a particular mandate to promote the dignity of people and defend the value of the family. In some countries AVSI is active with humanitarian operations due to the emergency situation; in these countries levels of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) are often high and specific interventions should be done to prevent mortality of the most vulnerable. AVSI supports mainly malnourished mothers and children to reach Primary Health Centers and follow a care plan to increase their weight and improve their nutritional status.
Also, particular attention is given to basic nutrition practices for infants and young children; breastfeeding support is one of the most important activities we promote in fragile environments.
Currently, what are the projects that AVSI is developing in this area and where?
AVSI is active in supporting nutrition in emergency programmes in Haiti, South Sudan, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. Thanks to UNICEF, OCHA, USAID and other major institutional and private donors we are able to ensure screening and community management of acute malnutrition of most vulnerable cases among children under 5 years old and women of reproductive age. This is the most at risk population we’re targeting.