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Accra hosts 7th Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security (ADFNS)

As FAO assesses school feeding facilities in Africa

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28 October, 2016, Accra - On the occasion of the 7th Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security commemorated in Accra, this year, under the theme “Investing in Food Systems for Improving Child Nutrition: Key to Africa’s Renaissance”, FAO called for multi-stakeholder public private partnerships at national, regional and regional levels to address the problem of malnutrition in Sub-Saharan African countries. 

Abebe Haile Gabriel, FAO Deputy Regional Representative for Africa deplored that malnutrition and poor diet remains high impeding the productive and educational abilities of individuals and communities.

“FAO has developed a school food and nutrition framework to complement the ongoing efforts by other partners in the design and implementation of food systems-based and local farmer-friendly nutrition programmes”, he explained.

“We are currently assessing the state of the art of school feeding in all AU member states and documenting good practices for mainstreaming nutrition education in primary and secondary schools in Eastern Africa”, he added.

A global commitment 

Abebe Haile Gabriel also announced that FAO is co-leading with the World Health Organization the implementation of the 70th UN General Assembly decision proclaiming 2016-2025 as the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition, in partnership with all UN agencies. 

It is to be recalled that the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) encouraged Member States to incorporate nutrition objectives into social protection programmes and into humanitarian assistance safety net programmes to address multiple dimensions of malnutrition.  

Laila Lokosang, Advisor for Food and Nutrition Security of the African Union Commission, expressed concern that important drivers of change that will have profound implications for food systems and diets will affect Africa. “However, we are seeing emerging a broad coalition of individuals and organizations to end hunger and malnutrition by 2030’, he said.

Mohammed AgBendech,  a Senior Nutrition Officer at FAO, emphasized the need for allocation of enough resources and “to create a critical mass of nutritionists” to implement adequate nutrition programmes. 

“Malnutrition affects the brains and leads to low productivity; it is critical to raise awareness on how nutrition could contribute to the development of our children. More investment in the agriculture sector is needed to provide the right quality and standard of food required for growth”, he pointed out.

Background

The Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security was declared in July 2010, , at the 15th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government, in Kampala, Uganda,  which also endorsed its yearly commemoration, on 30th of October.

This decision was made in recognition of the unacceptable and chronic crisis of hunger and malnutrition in Africa. The first ADFNS was successfully launched in Lilongwe, Malawi, on 31st October 2010. Since then the ADFNS has been commemorated seven times with the last edition in Accra.

The event is organized by the African Union Commission and the NEPAD Agency, in collaboration with partners and stakeholders. 

AUC Press release

Related links: 

African Union Commission

NEPAD

Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2)

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