By Auwal Ahmad
African Development Bank (AfDB) has revealed that African loses about $25 billion yearly to malnutrition and 800 million people live in extreme poverty and hunger globally with about 1.3 billion tonnes of food going to waste every year.
This was contained in a press statement issued by the Communication Officer, Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria, Lilian Ajah-Mong.
It stated that the President of the Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, made the revelation in Abidjan recently during the 2017 Global Gathering to review progress in tackling malnutrition and share innovations and best practices to drive the progress.
The statement added that the President also said “although there is surplus food in the world, 800 million people live in extreme poverty and hunger globally with about 1.3 billion tonnes of food going to waste every year.”
He urged African governments to invest in nutrition, saying: “We need to ensure that community-based nutrition systems are strengthened; that we enhance general food safety, especially in the informal food markets that dominate most African cities.”
The statement said the Coordinator of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement Gerda Verburg, in her opening remarks, adding that while progress had been made on under nutrition “more needs to be done as good nutrition is integral to achieving all the Sustainable Development Goals.”
“The SUN Global gathering is for us to inspire each other and about getting the food systems right. Nutrition is important for education, nutrition is important for health, nutrition is important for the economy and to improve the GDP. We need to find instruments to build collaboration focused on impacts and results and to build partnerships with the private sector. The challenge of under-nutrition and obesity is one that behoves on us to build bridges between countries dealing with these issues to address them.”
Contributing to a Plenary Session on how Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and the Learning system can shape the SUN Movement, Project Director of the Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria’s (CS-SUNN), Beatrice Eluaka, said it had stimulated cross border exchange of information, knowledge, innovations, integrated approaches across African counties towards addressing malnutrition.
“We have also established regional hubs and platforms for regular virtual meetings and exchange of information. One major fall-out from the Learning Route Rwanda was a Creativity Collaboration Award which for instance, saw Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone recently collaborating to develop a Guide for Stakeholders Mapping to be used in West Africa,” she said.
The gathering also witnessed the launch of the 2017 SUN Movement Progress Report which explored the successes seen and progress made from 2016 to 2017, across the 60 Countries and three Indian States that drive the Movement and what lies in store for the upcoming year to end malnutrition in all its forms, for all women, men and their families in every part of the world.