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Saturday, June 3, 2023

African countries making nutrition a priority in their budgeting

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

African countries have made great strides in promoting investments towards the fight against hunger and malnutrition on the continent.

A high-level meeting on the theme of the African Year of Nutrition has kicked off in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire where experts from African Union member states, government ministers, financiers and civil society organisations are deliberating on the long-term vision of Agenda 2063.

The vision encapsulates not only Africa’s aspirations for the future but also identifies key flagship programmes which can boost the continent’s economic growth.

Speaking during a panel discussion on the Multi-sectoral Approach and Investments in Nutrition, Food and Nutrition Council Director General for Zimbabwe, Dr George Kembo joined other countries in highlighting some of the strides made towards achieving national nutrition goals in their respective countries.

“We have adopted a multi-sectoral approach to food and nutrition. We have created enabling policies and a legal environment. As a country, we are using our local resources to address the issues of nutrition, looking for local solutions to address the issue of malnutrition backed by our mantra ‘A nation is built by its own people’. We have put nutrition high on the economic agenda. We have also incorporated nutrition in our Constitution the right to food,” he said.

“In Zambia, we have prioritised the Nutritional needs of our citizens. Nutrition is now being coordinated by the office of the vice president we have also put in place a board that deals with nutrition,” noted a Zambian representative.

As participants debate on how to allocate financial, material and human resources for priority nutrition interventions at local and national levels in a more optimal way, the three-day event is expected to accelerate progress toward the attainment of United Nations and regional development goals.

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