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FAO supports the Central African Parliament in combatting food insecurity and malnutrition

  |   Parliamentarians, SUN Country Network, SUN UN Network

The President of the Central African National Assembly, Laurent Ngon-Baba, and the representative of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Perpetua Katepa-Kalala, signed project document TCP/CAF/3802 entitled “Support to the CAR Parliamentary Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in the context of the Zero Hunger Challenge and COVID-19”.

The signing of the document between the two institutions took place at the seat of the National Assembly in Bangui, in the presence of officers of the CAR Parliamentary Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (APRCA-SAN) and the Nutrition Officer from the FAO representation.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization is funding the project to the sum of USD 250,000 over a two-year period as part of its technical cooperation with the Central African Republic. The aim is to build parliament’s capacity to operationalize the APRCA-SAN, established on 12 March 2020 to combat food and nutrition insecurity, and to encourage parliamentarians to pass laws and texts in favour of these issues. “This project is a continuation of the cooperation already commenced with Parliament and I am very proud of the work done by both the FAO and parliamentary teams,” said Ms Perpetua Katepa Kalala, FAO Representative in the Central African Republic.

The goal: “Zero Hunger”

The project is being implemented in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this prompted the President of the National Assembly and of APRCA-SAN, Laurent Ngon-Baba, to note that the pandemic is just one more factor in the crisis the country has already been suffering, and which has left the Central African population in a desperate situation of hunger, reflected in malnutrition and food insecurity, simply because the primarily rural population is unable to meet its needs due to the security issues. “This project has come at the right time to help Central African MPs work alongside the population to achieve the ‘Zero Hunger’ challenge, and I am counting on the FAO as our direct partner,” he stated.

Although the Central African Republic has been suffering from internal conflict, it should be noted that problems of food insecurity and nutrition pre-date this crisis and are even seen in areas where there is no conflict. If hunger and malnutrition are to be eradicated by 2030 this will require strategies, public policies, national laws, and programmes that are able to guarantee the right to adequate food for all, contribute to reducing poverty and improve people’s diets.

Political will and parliamentary action are being expressed in the establishment of an appropriate legislative framework, consolidated through multisectoral cooperation and collaboration plus increased awareness among legislators. To this must be added the efforts to raise awareness among the public, the executive, and the judiciary in order to prepare the ground for popular, legitimate, and sustainable legislative change.

 

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