Site icon Nigerian NewsDirect

African leaders commit to achieving global nutrition goals

 Heads of African Union (AU) member states have called for more commitment and accountability in Africa’s effort to achieve continental and global goals for nutrition.

The leaders in a statement issued on the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) website on Thursday, made the call ahead of the 2025 World Health Assembly Nutrition target deadline.

The members spoke in a nutrition-themed side event during the 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU, co-organised by the Kingdom of Lesotho, the AU Commission and AfDB.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was organised under the Bank’s African Leaders for Nutrition initiative and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (UN).

The event’s had as its theme: “Progress and Achievements in Addressing Malnutrition in Africa: Accountability for results in achieving continental and global targets for nutrition’’.

The event was also centred on finding long-lasting measures to curb malnutrition and food security in the continent.

Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho, Samuel Matekane, speaking on behalf of King Letsie III of Lesotho Kingdom, said it was unacceptable for the continent to stay silent and indifferent.

“Especially at a time when 60 per cent of our continent’s population (799   million people) is affected by moderate or severe food insecurity, making Africa the highest level globally.

“This means one-third of the world’s undernourished, or 282 million people, live in Africa,” he said.

The King, an African Leader for Nutrition, encouraged attendees via a pre-recorded message to meet nutrition goals established by the World Health Assembly and Malabo targets.

He said this would help reduce malnutrition and stunting by 2025, adding that he had a strong conviction that the continent’s nutrition targets would be achieved.

“If we can accelerate investments and improve the coordination of efforts, Africa will advance nutrition and improve food security outcomes.

“The event serves as a wake-up call for African nations to strengthen political will toward achieving continental nutrition targets.

“And their willingness to invest in tackling imminent challenges contributing to malnutrition and food insecurity which have intensified across the AU Member States,’’ he said.

The Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development at the AU Commission, Minata  Cessouma, presented the progress report based on the Continental Nutrition Accountability Scorecard.

According to Cessouma, the scorecard is a data-based advocacy tool that gives an overview of how African leaders deliver main nutrition indicators.

Cote d’Ivoire’s Vice- President, Tiemoko Kone summarised the activities held during the AU Year of Nutrition 2022 and the Abidjan declaration.

According to Kone, this calls for accelerated investment, implementation and coordination to improve nutrition and food security in Africa.

Dr Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, said, “it is now more crucial than ever to support vulnerable communities with multiple innovative solutions.

“It is important to help them build their resilience and transform agri-food systems to deliver better nutrition.

Meanwhile, the  AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina, said that its Multi-Sectoral Action Plan offered solutions to Africa’s malnutrition challenges.

Represented by Dr Beth Dunford, Vice-President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development in the AfDB, Adesina  said the plan was catalysing nutrition-smart investment across bank operations.

He said this has resulted in the bank re-locating 2.8 billion dollars of investment in its portfolio to be nutrition-smart.

“I believe that nutrition is a central pillar for Africa’s development.

“The plan’s goal is to see a 40 per cent reduction in stunting due to chronic under-nutrition by 2025.

“While AfDB has made significant progress in the re-allocation of resources, there’s a need to translate these funding re-allocations into stunting reductions on the ground,” he said

Exit mobile version