Reviewing nutrition in the MDG’s at the 14th ECOWAS Nutrition Forum
From 15 to 18 November, the 14th Nutrition Forum of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was held in Lomé, Togo, under the theme “Nutrition-related MDGs in West Africa: achievements, opportunities and way forward”.
The Forum brought together 150 participants, including representatives of the 15 ECOWAS countries, civil society, private sector, local communities and international organizations. The Forum was organized by ECOWAS/WAHO and the Ministry of Health of Togo, and was chaired by the Minister of Health of Togo.
The Nutrition Forum provides a platform for ECOWAS countries to exchange knowledge and experiences, discuss the main challenges and opportunities in scaling up nutrition as well as to report back on progress made towards previously agreed approaches and actions. The forum plays a critical role in enabling different groups to learn from and support each other, in particular to share innovative experiences to scale up nutrition.
This year’s edition focused on reviewing progress made by the ECOWAS countries towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s). This included an assessment of the contribution of nutrition in achieving three goals: eradicating extreme poverty and hunger (MDG 1), reducing child mortality (MDG 4) and improving maternal health (MDG 5). Participants acknowledged that substantial progress has been made, but much more effort is needed. In relation to the impact of nutrition, countries identified as critical factors, the lack of reliable data to properly assess such impact, as well as challenges in translating national nutrition strategies into implementation ensuring that actions reach to the communities and most vulnerable groups.
With regards to the regional initiatives, the ECOWAS presented the new nutrition Strategic Plan for the sub-region that is being drafted, and the African Union presented the New African Regional Nutrition Strategy 2015-2025. It was also highlighted that 14 out of the 15 ECOWAS countries have now joined the SUN Movement, which was one of the recommendations of the 13th ECOWAS Nutrition Forum.
The next Forum will take place in Guinea Bissau in 2017.
Learn more at ECOWAS