Africa

African Development Bank partners renew their commitment to end child stunting in Africa

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African Development Bank partners renew their commitment to end child stunting in Africa

Urging unity and action to accelerate nutrition goals amid the global Covid-19 pandemic, representatives from the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org), the Aliko Dangote Foundation, and Big Win Philanthropy renewed their commitment to ending childhood stunting and other forms of malnutrition through the Nutrition Banking Association (https://bit.ly/3wEhp4H).

The partners came together during a high-level round table held on July 8, organized by the African Development Bank. They shared lessons learned, experiences, and achievements of the Banking Alliance for Nutrition since its inception five years ago. They also discussed its implementation within the African Development Bank and its Multisectoral Nutrition Action Plan, as well as measures to encourage other organizations and development banks to integrate nutrition into their portfolios.

“The Bank is relentless in pursuing bold goals to unlock Africa’s human and economic potential. Our goal is to inspire other actors to recognize nutrition as a central element of that agenda, ”said Dr. Beth Dunford, Vice President of the Agricultural, Human and Social Development Complex of the African Development Bank in her keynote address. “We need urgent action from all sectors to elevate and renew commitment to nutrition to help accelerate the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerate the achievement of nutrition goals,” he added.

Other interventions during the program came from Kesete Admasu, CEO of Big Win Philanthropy, Zouera Youssoufou, CEO of the Aliko Dangote Foundation, Joel Spicer, CEO of Nutrition International, and Martin Fregene and Chanda Osward, directors of the African Development Bank.

Each speaker reaffirmed their commitment to the Association and to helping countries end childhood stunting on the continent.

Malnutrition continues to deprive generations of Africans of the opportunity to develop their full physical and cognitive potential, greatly impacting health outcomes and economic development. The Banking Alliance for Nutrition aims to generate long-term economic growth for Africa by investing in “Gray Matter Infrastructure”. In 2020, 61.4 million stunted African children were recorded, with Africa being the only region where the number of stunted children has increased and 40% of all stunted children in the world lives on the African continent.

The Nutrition Banking Association is an excellent example of African leadership in health and nutrition. “When we have a success story based on practical results based on partnership, it is important to show it,” Youssoufou said.

“The value of the Association is that we all come together and see how to incorporate nutrition more deliberately as part of a comprehensive protective wall of immunity around people from within and without,” Spicer said.

The Alliance has proven itself through numerous initiatives and programs, including support for Ethiopia’s Seqota Declaration, a commitment to end stunting in children under the age of two by 2030. The African Development Bank approved a $ 48 million funding for the Government of Ethiopia’s Multi-Sector Approach to Stunting Reduction Project (MASReP).

The positive results of the Banking Alliance for Nutrition include the integration of nutrition in 18% of African Development Bank projects, and 21% of project interventions prioritize the focus on women and children. The Bank also exceeded its 2025 targets for smart investments in nutrition of 15% and 10% in the WASH and social protection sectors, respectively.

In its next phase, the Banking Alliance for Nutrition will prioritize 10 countries using the African Development Bank’s Gray Matter Infrastructure Investment Index, a criterion based on country rankings focused on their stunting burden and margin. of indebtedness. These countries include Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Sudan, Madagascar, Kenya, Burundi, Mali, and Burkina Faso.

“It will take a healthy and skilled workforce to put Africa on the road to recovery after COVID-19 and most importantly move the needle to transform the continent and the quality of life of its people,” he said Martha Phiri, director of the Human Department of Capital, Youth and Skills.

Launched in 2018, the Multi-Sector Nutrition Action Plan (https://bit.ly/3r8KVyk) 2018-2025 is an ambitious plan to leverage additional financial resources through smart investments in nutrition in sectors such as health, agriculture, WASH, social protection and education to support a 40% reduction in stunting across the continent by 2025.

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