The National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) was established in 2000 (an amalgamation of the Nutrition Unit Ministry of Health and the Office of the Nutrition Component Coordinator of the World Bank supported Participatory Health Population and Nutrition Project). The Agency became a legal entity in 2005 by an Act of the National Assembly (Food Act 2005). It is charged with the responsibility of coordinating all nutrition and nutrition related activities in the country. The Agency is a semi-autonomous government institution answerable to the Office of the Vice President through an Agency Board. NaNA was strategically placed under the Office of the Vice President to remove/avoid sectoral bias, and to attract a wider funding base for nutrition in order to ensure better coordination of nutrition interventions across the sectors as nutrition is cross-cutting. It serves as the Secretariat to the National Nutrition Council (an inter-Ministerial body) and the Scaling up of Nutrition (SUN) Movement.
The overall mission of the Agency is to improve the nutritional status of Gambians, thus reducing malnutrition, morbidity and mortality among the general population, especially the most vulnerable groups; pregnant and lactating women and children under five years of age, thereby contributing to the productivity of The Gambian population and the socio-economic development of the country, and to transform the Agency into a viable and sustainable Centre of Excellence in the area of nutrition policy formulation, research, capacity building, public health nutrition planning and programming in the West African sub-region.
Vision: ‘‘a Gambia free of malnutrition that assures a healthy and sustainable livelihood’’.
Goal: To improve the Gambian population’s nutritional status especially that of the most vulnerable groups.
For the Agency to attain its vision and goal as enshrined in the policy, NaNA works with all stakeholders including communities and community based organizations involved in nutrition and nutrition related areas as well as mainstream nutrition into other sector policies, programmes and strategies to improve the coordination of nutrition interventions in the country. Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) plays a major role towards achieving the Agency’s mission.