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Opportunities for Africa to address all forms of malnutrition: How can the UN Nutrition Strategy 2022–2030 contribute?

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Opportunities for Africa to address all forms of malnutrition: How can the UN Nutrition Strategy 2022–2030 contribute?

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Presented by Namukolo Covic, Director General’s Representative to Ethiopia, at the UN Nutrition Strategy 2022-2030 Launch, African Union, 31 October 2022


Presented by Namukolo Covic, Director General’s Representative to Ethiopia, at the UN Nutrition Strategy 2022-2030 Launch, African Union, 31 October 2022


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Opportunities for Africa to address all forms of malnutrition: How can the UN Nutrition Strategy 2022–2030 contribute?

  1. 1. Better lives through livestock Opportunities for Africa to address all forms of malnutrition: How can the UN Nutrition Strategy 2022 - 2030 contribute? Namukolo Covic, Director General’s Representative to Ethiopia CGIAR Regional Director, East and Southern Africa President: African Nutrition Society UN Nutrition Strategy 2022-2030 Launch African Union, 31 October 2022
  2. 2. 1. What do our overarching nutrition outcomes look like?
  3. 3. We have multiple burdens of malnutrition 38 5 9 31 30 5 18 41 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Stunting, under 5 years Overweight, Under 5 years Overwieght, girls 5-19 years Overweight, adult women Prevalence, % for the given population and year 2000 2018 (2016 for girls (5-19) & adult women) Source, GNR, 2019 Africa’s current food systems are contributing to multiple burdens of malnutrition • Widespread micronutrient deficiencies • Increasing prevalence of diet related NCDs
  4. 4. 2. What does this say about the needed food systems transformation? 3. What contributions can the UN Nutrition Strategy 2022-2030 make?
  5. 5. 5 Opportunity in the rich continental policy environment for nutrition, even richer at country level! • Africa Regional Nutrition Strategy 2015-2025 • CAADP nutrition targets in the Malabo Declaration complemented by dietary and nutrition indicators in the CAADP Results Framework 2015 • Scaling-Up-Nutrition (SUN) Movement • Country Pathways; and Africa Common Position on the UNFSS • Continental Declaration on Biofortification • Staple food fortification is also an area of much attention • African Leaders for Nutrition Initiative promoting investment in nutrition • 2022 Year of Food Security and Nutrition • Many other initiatives at country and regional levels • Conducive policy environment with impressive articulated political will • But need to do better on needed investments and quality of implementation
  6. 6. 6 The theme of this launch is very relevant to the challenges we face Theme: Putting the UN Nutrition strategy into practice during the age of intersecting crises Through three areas of collaboration 1. Coordinated United Nations strategic support for governments at all levels; 2. Collective knowledge management 3. Joint advocacy and communications. Well aligned with Africa’s common aspirations in agenda 2063 to have a well-nourished population; the Malabo targets and the Africa Regional Nutrition Strategy towards eliminating all forms of malnutrition • An African Union High-Level Conference on Food Security and Nutrition: 10 October 2022 • Articulated 4Cs: Climate, Conflict, COVID-19 and Cost of food • One CGIAR transition for research to foster positive food systems transformation • Aim to contribute country and regional impacts on food security, nutrition & health, land, and water in the climate crisis faced
  7. 7. 7 The complement of UN Nutrition members (@2022) provide an opportunity to address all forms of malnutrition synergistically from multiple fronts 1. WFP: World Food Programme 2. FAO: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 3. IFAD: International Fund for Agricultural Development 4. WHO: World Health Organization 5. UNICEF: United Nations Children’s Fund 6. IAEA: International Atomic Energy Agency: Stable isotopes 7. UNEP: UN Environment Programme 8. UNDP: United Nations Development Programme 9. UNDESA: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs 10. OCHA: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 11. UNHCR: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights 12. UNIDO: United Nations Industrial Development Organization 13. UN-Habitat 14. CGIAR as an associate member (through the Alliance of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)/Bioversity) What I miss and advocate for • AUC: African Union Commission • AUDA-NEPAD • ANS: African Nutrition Society • UN-Women
  8. 8. 8 UNFSS 2021 Country pathways Africa common position One CGIAR transition must Similarly complement efforts through research Food Based Dietary Guidelines can help align these Efforts There are clear opportunities to align efforts to foster positive and collective momentum across Africa on nutrition in response to the United Nations Food Systems Summit UN Nutrition Strategy Can support and complement these efforts at the regional and country levels
  9. 9. “A holistic transformation of Ethiopia’s food systems from production to consumption that promotes enhanced food safety, nutrition and diets, improved livelihoods, greater land preservation and restoration and greater resilience to shocks and stress.” “We seek to transform our food systems using sustainable and healthy diet-centered lens that minimizes tradeoffs through calling for strong collaboration across all food systems actors, uniting around a common goal of heathy and sustainable diets for all.” Example: Ethiopia vision for food systems transformation could help align efforts
  10. 10. The food systems transformation countdown to 2030 initiative has proposed a monitoring and evaluation framework for food systems transformation with attention to better diets and nutrition outcomes Diet quality Food security Food environments Policies affecting food environments Land use Greenhouse gas emissions Water use Pollution Biosphere integrity Poverty and income Employment Social protection Rights Diets, nutrition, and health Environment and climate Livelihoods, poverty, and equity Shared vision Strategic planning and policies Effective implementation Accountability Exposure to shocks Resilience capacities Agrobiodiversity Food security stability Food system sustainability index Governance Resilience and sustainability Outcomes of food systems Crosscutting issues Some of these are being considered to monitor Agriculture Development Programmes Fanzo, et al., 2021
  11. 11. This is the African context Current Intakes vs Planetary Health Diet Source: EAT Lancet Commission, 2019 To do better on these consumption patterns for better nutrition and health Attention to sustainable production practices And solutions is a must!
  12. 12. Context is important: Equal treatment is not always what is needed! Free images website • The presence of UN Nutrition at country level armed with the strategy being launched today should be leveraged to bring nuance to the efforts being taken! • Around global tables the “UN Nutrition Community” can use the strategy to foster inclusivity to ensure no one is left behind!
  13. 13. Key messages 1. Africa has multiple burdens of malnutrition and related food systems challenges that must be addressed 2. We have opportunities we can leverage in the rich policy environment for nutrition and on the current food systems transformation momentum from the UNFSS to bring about positive changes 3. But all relevant actors must be deliberate in their efforts to generate synergies for collective momentum 4. The UN Nutrition Strategy being launched today can contribute to accelerating the changes needed by enhancing synergies through the three collaborative areas so clearly articulated. 5. Recommend additional members, AUC, AUDA-NEPAD, African Nutrition Society
  14. 14. THANK YOU Thank you!

Editor's Notes

  • This slide shows that both undernutrition reflected by stunted growth of children under five years old, and overweight and obesity reflected by this in girls 5-19 years old are high. This is a clear indication of a double burden of malnutrition.
    Stunting is an indicator of affected children being subjected to chronic undernutrition from poor diets as well as other aspects like poor sanitation and health facilities. The decrease seen from 38% in 2000 to 30% in 2018 is just too slow to meet our SDG targets.
    On overweight which includes overweight and obesity, we are seeing a gradual increase across age groups. Higher in adolescents and highest in the adult women. This reflects an increasing magnitude in overweight and obesity faster than the reductions we are seeing in undernutrition at population levels.
  • In response to the UNFSS many African countries have developed food systems transformation pathways that recognize the need to address the double burden of malnutrition.
    At the same time the African Union has taken common elements of these the country transformation pathways to develop an Africa Common Position to foster collective food systems transformation momentum across the continent.
    The above two are opportunities to generate synergy across the continent given our common problem of the double burden of malnutrition.
    Only 9 countries have food based dietary guidelines. The opportunity in this is that those countries with no food based dietary guidelines will be developing guidelines within the new context of enhanced attention to food systems transformation.
    In summary all the above present an opportunity to generate synergy and positive momentum at country and regional levels.
    The insect dishes are simply to draw attention to the diverse biodiversity of food still consumed on the continent. An opportunity to leverage
  • And so equal treatment is not what is always needed
    But within each context lessons that have already been learned can be adopted to chart a more positive direction from what has happened in the global north

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