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First state secretariat of ‘Impact4Nutrition’ initiative in the country launched in Madhya Pradesh

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Senior Correspondent

The UNICEF Madhya Pradesh office and the local Jagran Lakecity University (JLU) on Thursday signed a statement of Intent to set up a state secretariat of the Impact4Nutrition (I4N) initiative.

This state secretariat is part of Impact4Nutrition network to engage private sector on nutrition and is the first such secretariat in India.

An event was organised at JLU campus on the occasion was addressed by Margaret Gwada, Chief of UNICEF, Madhya Pradesh, Arjan De Wagt, Chief of Nutrition, UNICEF India and Richard Beighton, Chief of Resource Mobilisation & Partnerships, UNICEF India who attended virtually.

The I4N Secretariat set up on the JLU campus will act as the hub of I4N initiatives with diverse stakeholders including the private sector partners and industry bodies including Federation of Indian Chambers for Commerce and Industries (FICCI), CII Young Indians (Madhya Pradesh Chapter) and others in the state.

The secretariat will work as a platform for cooperation between JLU and UNICEF to mutually complement the efforts to support the state government on nutrition issues. Both will curate opportunities of public-private sector collaborations and partnerships in this direction.

UNICEF will provide technical support to the state secretariat, build capacity of the secretariat and its partners on understanding on nutrition to help strengthen its work in the State.

Speaking on the occasion, Abhishek Mohan Gupta, Pro Chancellor, JLU and Founding Chairman FICCI Youth Leaders Forum said “we look forward to making an impact around this critical area of nutrition and women and child development. “

Margaret Gwada said UNICEF was delighted to be a partner of this Impact for Nutrition (I4N) secretariat that will facilitate the mapping and engagement of the private sector to mobilize and harness their individual capacities /power for nutrition. 

Contribution from the private sector is the key to augment government efforts in achieving its POSHAN Abhiyaan (Nutrition Mission) goals and targets, with promotion of good nutrition practices across the business ecosystem using responsible business practices or through employee engagement. 

 Arjan de Wagt congratulated Madhya Pradesh for starting the first state secretariat and said “we need to utilize private sector resources and energy of corporates to make impact on nutrition. Private sector is the key to unlock the progress on nutrition and to stop child malnutrition.”  

Richard Beighton said that this is landmark step. He said that private sector can contribute assets, cash and commit its employees to nutrition interventions through their corporate social responsibility initiatives, workforce nutrition, capacity development and nutrition literacy sensitization activities and others.

Dr. Sandeep Shastri, Vice Chancellor, JLU and Dr. Diwakar Shukla, Dean, faculty of Journalism and creative studies, JLU also poke at the occasion.  The event was moderated and coordinated by Anil Gulati, communication specialist, UNICEF MP Office.

Dr. Sameer Pawar, nutrition specialist, Pushpa Awasthy, nutrition officer UNICEF were present online. Along with Gulati, Tarun Patel, nutrition officer, UNICEF was present at the event on the campus.