Scaling Up Nutrition - PCD Speak at the Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security 2012

Girl with food in Kenya

The Partnership for Child Development (PCD), called on cross sector approaches for better nutrition and dietary diversity at a Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) side event of the Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security. 

In partnership, at the African Union Headquaters on October 31, PCD and NEPAD emphasised how Home Grown School Feeding contributes to adequate child nutrition at the same time as ensuring food security and sustainable livelihoods.

The event saw representatives from the African Union, the World Health Organization, Save the Children, and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), cover topics: the cost of hunger in Africa - considering the importance of nutrition in social and economic development, why child nutrition is so important, particularly in the first 1000 days of a child's life, and World Vision were also able to reveal their new measure, "the nutrition barometer", to assess government pledges and progress towards tackling undernutrition and child mortality.  

The event also heard from SUN country experiences of Uganda, Malawi and Nigeria. The SUN Movement was launched in 2010 to support national leadership and collective action to put nutrition high on country agendas. Principally, it is a country-led Movement with hundreds of organisations and entities working to increase the effectiveness of existing programmes, supporting national priorities to commit to nutrition by aligning resources and fostering broad ownership.

Nutrition and policy experts were gathered to commemorate the third Africa Day For Nutrition and Security, joining the African Union (AU), the United Nations and other key partners in the Ethiopian Capital, Addis Ababa. 

In his opening remarks, Chief Executive Officer of NEPAD, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki said, “Proven solutions for food and nutrition security challenges already exist and need to be replicated, the era of ‘pilots’ is long gone. The private sector is a valuable partner in the fight against malnutrition whereas civil society remains our most important voice of conscience” . 

The meeting was also addressed by the AU’s Deputy Chairperson Mr Erastus Mwencha, Ethiopia’s Minister of State for Agriculture as well as by the UN Goodwill Ambassador and world long distance running champion Haile Gebre Selassie, as well as heads of public and private international agencies.

Held annually since 2010, the theme was followed this year Ensuring Access to Safe and Nutritious Foods, with the purpose of creating a platform in which food and nutrition security stakeholders can discuss solutions and make recommendations on food security issues in Africa, as well as to strengthen momentum towards achieving the MDGs by their 2015 goal and beyond this.

In his goodwill message, Gebreselassie stated that no nation can grow and be successful if its people are not well fed. “As a sportsman I have to ensure that I eat healthily and also enough food, so that I can be successful in my game,’ said Haile, multiple marathon and track award winner.

Experts marked the day with renewed efforts to tackle malnutrition and under-development in Africa, caused by lack of sufficient food and good nutrition, and have called on the need for policies which will enable the African continent to feed itself. 

Read more on the day from NEPAD

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