Nutrition and Food Security has been a concern for Namibia since its Independence in 1990.
In 1995 Namibia’s first Food and Nutrition Policy was developed by the initial Food Security and Nutrition Council. In the following years, a number of other relevant policies have been developed, yet over time the Council itself became less and less active.
In 2009, under leadership of then Prime Minister Nahas Angula, the Namibian Government in collaboration with a broad variety of national and international stakeholders, decided to establish the Namibian Alliance for Improved Nutrition (NAFIN) as a national multi-sectoral multi-stakeholder coordination body to tackle the country’s huge double burden of malnutrition.
However, over the last few years, Namibia’s coordination mechanisms for nutrition and food security underwent major changes, as the Namibian Alliance for Improved Nutrition (NAFIN) had become dormant.
As a countermeasure, the Namibian Government has decided in 2017 to re-establish the Food and Nutrition Security Council (FNSC) under the Office of the Prime Minister and revise the Food and Nutrition Security Policy (2018-2028) including its accompanying Implementation Action Plan (2018-2023). The process of finalizing all three components: Council, Policy and Action Plan is currently still underway and is expected to be completed soon.
With the establishment of the Food and Nutrition Security Council (FNSC) underway, there was now a need for another body to ensure that civil society, academia and the private sector are well represented within the FNSC, and that effective information sharing, coordination and collaboration among all those stakeholders takes place.
Hence, Synergos Trust Namibia (which served as the Secretariat for NAFIN in a voluntary capacity since its inception) applied to the SUN Pool Fund for support in early 2017, and successfully implemented the NamSUN-CSA project from October 2018 until January 2020.
This project aimed at raising awareness about nutrition- and food security related matters and at establishing a Civil Society Alliance in Namibia that will then fulfill critical functions around networking, information sharing, advocacy and coordination.
This is how the Nutrition and Food Security Alliance of Namibia (NAFSAN) was established in NAFSAN’s Constituting Meeting on 18 October 2019, as a national platform that brings together civil society, academia, private sector and committed individuals.
Over the next couple of months, the elected founding Board members then worked on NAFSAN’s Constitution which was eventually finalized and signed in March 2020, and NAFSAN then also became an official member of the SUN Civil Society Network, particularly the East & Southern Africa Nutrition Civil Society Networks.