The National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) was established in 2000 and became a legal entity by an Act of the National Assembly in 2005. With good intentions, NaNA was strategically placed under the Office of the Vice President to:
Remove any sectoral bias - if placed under either health or agriculture it is bound to suffer some sectoral bias, as the sectors will be concerned with only their areas paying scant attention to other components. Therefore, to give it the needed visibility that it deserves, the Agency responsible for Nutrition is placed under a higher office such as the Office of The Vice President;
Attract a wider funding base for nutrition - one of the major constraints of the then Nutrition Unit under the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoH&SW) was a limited funding base for nutrition programme implementation, with the only source coming from UNICEF. In the medical circle, nutrition is not given due priority and as such suffers in comparison to other programmes deemed more important. Now, the Agency is attracting funds from other partners such as FAO and CILSS who normally would not have funded nutrition activities under the umbrella of the Ministry of Health because their mandates would not permit them to; and
Ensure better coordination of nutrition activities across the sectors - being a cross-cutting issue, many sectors are involved in nutrition and nutrition related activities. If these sectoral interventions are not well coordinated or sectors do not collaborate, there may be duplication of efforts, nutrition issues not prioritize accordingly and/or giving of conflicting messages to the public as “everybody’s business becomes nobody’s responsibility”. Now, as the Agency mandated to coordinate the intersectoral collaboration for nutrition programmes and held accountable for nutrition, there is some degree of improvement in intersectoral collaboration and coordination in the implementation of nutrition programmes in the country. Through the National Nutrition Council chaired by HE, The Vice President, there is better intersectoral coordination of nutrition, which would not have been possible if nutrition was under the MoH&SW, as it does not have the institutional mandate to coordinate other sectors’ interventions in the area.