Addis Ababa May 18/2017 The Japanese has allotted a minimum of 3 million USD for the identification and assessment of the Initiative for Food and Nutrition Security in Africa (IFNA) to be implemented in ten African countries this year.
Initiative for Food and Nutrition Security in Africa (IFNA), guided by the principles of African ownership and knowledge, intends to accelerate nutrition actions and enhance policies and programs aimed at scaling up interventions to address the malnutrition challenges posed in all its forms in Africa.
IFNA has started a two-day First Partners Meeting of Initiative for Food and Nutrition Security in Africa in Addis Ababa.
At a press conference held today, JICA Senior Vice President Hiroshi Kato said “we are going to work in ten target countries to identify the specific needs of what should be done to improve the countries nutritional status”.
So far, IFNA has done survey in Ethiopia and Ghana, he added.
Speaking about the plans of IFNA, Kato noted:
“Towards the end of this year we are going to come together and consolidate the working plan for individual countries”.
The Vice President pointed out that after priority areas are identified and consolidated, IFNA will get off the ground and start working on individual projects of the targeted countries.
Technical Assistant at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Belaynesh Yifru said “malnutrition is a global burden and this time it is not only undernutrition, over nutrition is also coming to Africa. So it is a problem in both sides.”
The Ethiopian government has shown commitment to eliminate child hunger by 2030 through the Sekota Declaration, she added.
Referring to the multi-sectoral coordination in tackling malnutrition, she underlined that “nutrition is not a problem of one sector. There has to be multiple sectors to overcome this problem.”
“This program has come to Ethiopia at the right time. We can work be it at policy level or down at the community level”, Dr. Belaynesh noted.
Senior Advisor to the CEO of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Martin Bwalya, said “within the next ten years, we should eliminate hunger.”
He stated that hunger is one of the major hindrances to integrated, comprehensive and socio-economic growth of African countries.
“We will not reach the levels of economic growth we desire, we will not reach the prosperity that we desire if we do not get the issue of hunger out of the equation”, Bwalya emphasized.
The ten target countries for the initiative are Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal and Sudan.