A member of the USAID Advancing Nutrition Ghana team, Eric Maasole, supporting members of the nutrition committee of the Nanton District Assembly to plan for food and nutrition using the FNS guidelines.
Photo Credit: Mohammed Nurudeen Salifu/USAID Advancing Nutrition

In recent years, the Government of Ghana has made impressive strides in improving nutrition outcomes within the country. Stunting (low height for age) in children under 5 decreased from 23 percent in 2011 to 18 percent in 2017, and anemia in children dropped by half—from 66 to 36 percent, with a similar decline for women, from 41 to 22 percent, between 2014 and 2017. While these figures represent significant progress, malnutrition remains a major development issue. Key nutrition stakeholders agree that food and nutrition security (FNS) must be prioritized within the country’s development frameworks, with the relevant sectors working together in planning, allocating resources and funding, and monitoring and evaluating the country’s nutrition interventions at all levels.

As a major step in achieving this, USAID Advancing Nutrition provided financial and technical support to the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) for developing the Ghana Multi-Sector Food and Nutrition Security Guidelines. These FNS guidelines provide resources and tools to guide the planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of FNS interventions. The NDPC plays a critical role in coordinating and providing leadership for national development planning policy and strategy to accelerate sustainable development in Ghana.

Following the successful development of the FNS guidelines, USAID Advancing Nutrition and the United Nations Capital Development Fund supported the NDPC to conduct orientations on the FNS guidelines for regional officials from Ghana’s 16 regions and district officials in the 17 project districts. The district officials also received technical guidance to plan for FNS as part of developing their medium-term development plans (MTDPs).

The municipal planning officer for the Yendi Municipal Assembly, Rashida Mohammed, stated that, “This has offered us the opportunity to develop deep awareness and knowledge on how to prioritize nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive activities in our MTDP for 2022–2025. We were able to review our municipality’s FNS issues, discuss how best our team can incorporate this in our plans, and determine how to implement and monitor the nutrition goals of the Yendi Municipal Assembly.”

The FNS guidelines are a critical resource for all districts in Ghana to better address malnutrition by integrating appropriate FNS activities into their MTDPs and improving the country’s overall status of nutrition.