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The First 1000 Most Critical Days Programme (MCDP) II (2018-2022) is a successor programme to the MCDP I (2013-2015 and no cost extension up to 2017). It is principally a programme document that outlines the Government’s desired programme priority actions and targets to guide multi-sectoral action under the strategic direction one of the NFNSP, 2017-2021. Informed by the lessons learnt from the MCDP I, recommendations from studies conducted in the country under MCDP I and guided by the global action agenda and guidance on nutrition high impact interventions, MCDP II builds on gains generated by the predecessor programme and on the growing global and national efforts through various networks. With a goal to operationalise the 2025 World Health Assembly (WHA) goal of reducing stunting of children under the age of two years from the current 40% to 25% and to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), both of which the Government of the Republic of Zambia prescribed to; MCDP II will operate under the following three key components:
Scaling up Cost-Effective, High-Impact Nutrition Interventions that have proven to reduce stunting globally and in Zambia.
Targeted, Results-Oriented Technical Assistance to the NFNC, key line ministries, SUN Networks and implementing partners (IPs) to ensure effective coordination, management and implementation of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions directed to communities and households in the targeted districts.
Evidence-Based Programme Implementation, Continuous Learning and Operations Research to inform programme management and implementation.

The Republic of Zambia is a landlocked country in South-central Africa with a mild tropical climate. It is sparsely populated compared to some of the neighbouring countries. The population is young and predominantly rural. Zambia is severely affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, which compromises social and economic gains the country is striving to attain. Mostly as a result of pandemic, life expectancy at birth has dropped sharply.
Zambia's economy has been traditionally dominated by the copper mining industry. However, following a sharp decline in copper earnings, the contribution of the agricultural sector to GDP has increased. Zambia has a huge agricultural potential, still largely untapped. The majority of the population is engaged in rain-fed subsistence farming. Reduced state support in the 1990s has led to a shift in crop production from maize, the staple food crop, to other crops (cassava and cash crops), but maize is still largely predominant. Livestock production remains far below its potential, notably due to recurrent drought and outbreaks of diseases.


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