12-13 February 2019, Tokyo, Japan
The SUN Business Network held its Asia Country Gathering in Tokyo, Japan on 12-13th February 2019. The gathering was the first of its kind and was designed to strengthen momentum around the SBN within the region and increase support to SUN Countries looking to establish and operate an SBN.
The SBN Global Secretariat led an interactive two-day workshop which:
- Provided guidance and tools to support the development and growth of SBN Country Networks.
- Fostered discussion and shared experiences between established and early stage SBN Country Networks on how to set up, launch, and successfully manage a network.
- Brought together representatives from government, private sector and international development on panel discussions to demonstrate the case for engaging businesses in a multi-stakeholder approach to scaling up nutrition.
- Supported 10 SUN Countries to develop action plans to build and fundraise for their own SUN Business Networks.
The workshop convened 50 delegates, including focal points and SBN Coordinators from 10 SUN Countries in the region (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan [non-SUN], Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam), as well as representatives from the Government of Japan, World Bank, WFP Regional Bureau Bangkok, Indofood, IFC, FAO Japan, JICA, Food Industry Asia, ILSI Japan and DSM.
Hideya Yamada (Vice President for Food, Agriculture and Nutrition, JICA), Naoe Yakiya (WFP Japan Country Director) and Gerda Verburg (SUN Global Coordinator) opened the workshop – all stressing the need for the private sector to be part of the solution to achieving the SDGs and reducing malnutrition. Gerda Verburg highlighted the significant role business can play in strengthening the food value chain for affordable nutritious food as well as reaching consumers through responsible product marketing.
Hideya Yamada also acknowledged the opportune timing of the workshop in building momentum towards the upcoming Global Nutrition Summit which will be held in Japan in 2020. This was explored further in an advocacy event on business engagement in the summit, held on 14th February, attended by all participants of the SBN Asia Country Gathering and the Japanese government and private sector.
The workshop’s full-on agenda, including interactive sessions, panel discussions and one to one country support, generated stimulating discussions and an increased appetite to boost momentum amongst established SBN networks as well as SUN Countries looking to start their own network. Many countries have committed to this and have already put into action first steps to launch SBNs in their countries.
Read the full workshop summary here.