Ethiopia hosts conference on Africa Day food, nutrition security

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - Participants from Africa and beyond are gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for a conference to commemorate this year’s Africa Day for food and Nutrition Security (ADFNS), PANA reported from here.

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the African Union(AU), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Food And  Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) are co-organisers of the event, which is the third edition since the AU launched it in 2010.

Speaking at the occasion, the AU commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Tumuslime Rhoda Peace, said the commemoration of ADFNS was aimed at creating awareness on food and nutrition and also to mobilise support  from critical stakeholders like the civil society, development partners and the private sector.

Peace said: “The day provides a platform for reducing hunger, malnutrition and improving nutritional intakes among the most vulnerable. Nine out of 10 African countries are hunger stricken and this is not acceptable to us. What this means is that we must scale up our activities and collaborate."

The theme of this year’s event is “Ensuring access to safe and nutritious foods”.  

Apart from holding the event at the continental level, national governments are also marking the occasion in different countries.

The Chief Executive Officer of NEPAD, Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, said the cost of Hunger in Africa (COHA) study was well underway, saying that the initiative would build on national capacity to advocate for increased investment in early child nutrition.

According to Mayaki, ”The initiative is in its stages of data collections in four pilot countries -- Ethiopia, Egypt, Swaziland and Uganda -- and will soon role out in the rest of the countries with initial trainings in Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana,
Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania and Rwanda.

"Through this initiative, each country will be able to produce evidence on the impact that a child under nutrition has on the economy”.

Lucy Muchoki, who represented the private sector, pledged support to improve on the food and nutrition situation in Africa, while the EU representative at the AU, Mr. Gary Quince, stressed the need for African leaders to invest more on science and technology, so as to improve food yields.

“The EU and the International community have been very active in the Horn of Africa. To overcome hunger, we need a new approach by collaborating, working together to find a common solution," Quince added.
-0- PANA SB/VAO 31Oct2012

31 october 2012 15:01:19




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