Many African countries have made progress towards reducing undernutrition, notably under-5 stunting, and adolescent and adult underweight. However, progress to address malnutrition across the region remains uneven. Only six countries are on course to meet the global target for stunting among children under 5, and obesity is on the rise across the continent as countries are faced with the double burden of malnutrition.
To achieve the global nutrition goals and SDGs, accelerated progress for nutrition financing is needed across all sources including the private sector.
On the side of the African Union Summit, nutrition experts from around the world convened on February 16 for a discussion on how to mobilize more funding for nutrition, how to leverage sources of funding to strategically maximize nutrition gains, and how to engage the private sector to improve nutrition. The event began with an official session, inclusive of opening remarks from esteemed colleagues, followed by the keynote address given by H.E. Dr. Dereje Duguma, State Minister of Health, Ethiopia. A technical session followed, showcasing experiences from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi, and Côte d’Ivoire on how each country has made significant progress in sustainable nutrition financing. Lastly, the technical session included a presentation on new guidelines for engaging the private sector for win-win nutrition outcomes in home-grown school feeding programs, developed by AUDA-NEPAD in collaboration with Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and within the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) framework.
The aim of the event was to bring together experiences across African countries that have improved financing for nutrition sustainably. The objectives included:
- Accelerating the Malabo achievement and review nutrition indicators and sustainable financing strategies for integration into the AU Post-Malabo Agenda.
- Introducing the Private Sector Framework for nutrition and accelerate home-grown school feeding.
- Sharing experiences and lessons on sustainable nutrition financing across African countries.
- Sharing tools and resources being developed to support countries in achieving nutrition financing goals and initiatives that can accelerate progress.