MONROVIA-As the Sun Civil Society Alliance of Liberia (SUNCSAL) continues to advocate on the allocation of a separate budget line on Nutrition in the National Budget, the organization continues to engage lawmakers robustly on the issue.
SUNCSAL recently held an advocacy meeting with lawmakers to raise issues surrounding budget nutrition in the National budget.
Providing an overview of nutrition advocacy during a meeting with lawmakers at the Capitol Building in Monrovia, the Secretary General of SUNCSAL, Augustine Musah, expressed the need for the financing of nutrition through the national budget.
Mr. Musah indicated that there is a need for the creation of separate budget lines for nutrition in the national budget as was committed by the government of Liberia.
“We are hoping and lobbying with you as lawmakers that the separate budget line can be created in the next budget year”, Musah Added.
He informed lawmakers that SUNCSAL is the pillar of the SUN Movement in Liberia specifically carrying on social mobilization, policy influencing and campaigning in the country.
Making remarks on behalf of the Government of Liberia, Health Minister, Wilhelmina Jallah said it is a compelling need on the part of the government support its own nutrition programs.
Minister Jallah noted that Liberia put in place mechanism in mitigating the issues surrounding nutrition in Liberia.
“As a government, we cannot depend on donors to always support our nutritional program” Minister Jallah said.
Also speaking at the occasion, WaterAid Liberia Country Director, Chuchu Selma, described the engagement with law makers on nutrition as a result of difficult discussions between nutrition actors and the people
Mr. Selma noted that discussion with lawmakers on nutrition came about due to the important need of nutrition in the Liberia.
“The situation with nutrition in Liberia will degenerate if no action is taken to address the issue” Selma revealed.
The waterAid boss said Irish Aid through the Liberia WASH Consortium is interested in clear decisions and allocating funding for supporting nutrition activities in Liberia.
Also, the Director of Nutrition at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Annette Brimah Davies, described the meeting with lawmakers as crucial, though several meetings of such have been held with law makers.
Dr. Davies said Liberia as a country has been a part of several global treaties on nutrition with the aim of supporting nutrition in the national budget.
“As a country, we have not been able to finance nutrition as promised in these treaties”. Dr. Davies said.
She disclosed that there are eight government ministries implementing nutrition programs in the country and due to the lack of funding, these activities are not implemented as projected.
The Scaling up Nutrition Civil Society alliance of Liberia (SUNCSAL) is a Civil Society Platform mainly involved in advocacy and awareness.
The alliance aims to work with all relevant stakeholders including state actor (Legislators, Government Ministries and Agencies, UN, INGOs etc) to advocate for an increase in financing for nutrition, maternal, new born and child health.
The Alliance works with its platform members to raise awareness in communities on the risk of malnutrition and hygiene.