Introduction to Fill the Nutrient Gap
The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), under the leadership of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement Secretariat is seeking longterm strategies to reduce the burden of malnutrition across the country. The Fill the Nutrient Gap analysis (FNG) was conducted in 2018-19 to build a deeper understanding of the structural barriers to accessing healthy diets and identify opportunities across the food system to improve nutrition. FNG analysis contributes to FGS’ efforts to address food insecurity, and high rates of acute and chronic malnutrition, and leads the country towards a path of sustainable development.
Building consensus for improved nutrition
Nutrition is a pillar in the development of a healthy, productive nation. Good nutrition enhances physical and cognitive development, prevents disease and increases the potential of the workforce and society. Improving the diets of women and young children brings immediate and longterm health, education and economic benefits.
The 2013 Lancet series on maternal and child undernutrition identified a variety of nutrition interventions with proven effectiveness. However, successfully improving nutrition outcomes depends on interventions being tailored to the context.
Fill the Nutrient Gap (FNG) is an analytical process comprised of a comprehensive literature review of available secondary data sources in combination with linear programming (LP) using the Cost of the Diet (CotD) software. FNG analysis builds an understanding of availability, cost and affordability of a nutritious diet. FNG analysis is dedicated to identifying and promoting scale-up of proven interventions best suited to local context.
This summary report presents findings from the analysis and a discussion of its process, methodology and limitations. By identifying and contextualizing new findings, FNG analysis builds consensus in Somalia with a vision and path ahead for improved nutrition.
Process and scope of the analysis
The OPM led the FNG analysis in Somalia from inception in November 2018 through discussion of results in October 2019 with technical support from the World Food Programme (WFP). A Feasibility Study was completed in April 2019 and findings were presented to stakeholders in a workshop to define FNG analysis parameters. Primary data collection on food prices and household consumption was conducted in July and August 2019.
The analysis was embedded in an extensive stakeholder consultation process involving government ministries (Planning, Investment and Economic Promotion; Health; Education; Agriculture; Livestock, Fisheries and Marine Resources; Trade and Commerce; Labor and Social Affairs; Information; Humanitarian Affairs; Women and Human Rights; Youth and Sports), Development Partners (FSNAU, FAO, UNICEF), civil society (BRCiS consortium, UNN-REACH, World Vision International, Mercy Corps, FERO, Concern Worldwide, IRC), academia (Somali National University, Hormuud University) and private sector (Somalia Chamber of Commerce, Somali Medical Association, Somali Industries Association).