Lesotho is making great improvements in child nutrition outcomes. Between 2004 - 2014, stunting among children under 5 years old has steadily decreased. Despite this, stunting remains high at 33.2%, micronutrient deficiencies are widespread, and childhood overweight is estimated at 7.4% (REACH Multisectoral Nutrition Overview, 2017). As part of efforts to improve the country’s nutrition situation, the Government of Lesotho commissioned a multi-sectoral nutrition governance capacity assessment.
The assessment, which ran from August 2017 to March 2018, used the UN Network’s Nutrition Capacity Assessment tool. It was carried out by the Network’s intensive multi-sectoral technical assistance service – REACH – thanks to generous funding from Irish Aid. It specifically examined the capacity of the Lesotho Food and Nutrition Coordinating Office (FNCO), Ministries of Health, Agriculture, Education and Training, along with other stakeholders (including civil society and the media) engaged in multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder nutrition processes. The UN Network’s REACH Facilitator helped the Government link these processes and employ a participatory process for developing these frameworks, prompting wider stakeholder engagement.