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The 7th Task Force on Food and Nutrition Development reviews progress in the region and prepares for the new strategy

  |   SUN Country Network

On the 23rd March, the Seventh African Task Force on Food and Nutrition Development (ATTFND) was organised by the African Union (AU) and held in Johannesburg, South Africa. Participants included representatives from multiple stakeholder groups including the United Nations, Civil Society and Academia.

Delivering the keynote address, a Representative of the Government of South Africa, Ms Lynn Moeng, Chief Director of Health Promotion and Nutrition at the National Department of Health expressed concerned with the nutrition-related challenges that exist in Africa. She reminded stakeholders to implement the declarations that already exist before adopting new ones.

Thomas Yanga from the World Food Programme (WFP) reiterated the problem of stunting in Africa. He thanked stakeholders such as the AU Commission for prioritizing nutrition-related issues whilst acknowledging the contribution of agriculture counterparts. He called upon stakeholders in nutrition to utilise on-going initiatives such as the ‘Cost of Hunger Study’ and the school feeding programmes, to address the situation.

Objectives of the two day event included;

  • Review of progress of the African Regional Nutrition Strategy (ARNS) (2005-2015) and implementation of the revised ARNS (2015-2025).
  • Receipt of updates on the implementation of the recommendations from the previous meeting
  • Receipt of status on the commitments made at the previous meeting
  • Discussion about the dissemination and implementation of the revised ARNS, including an implementation plan
  • Setting of criteria for the selection of AU Nutrition Champions and Nutrition Ambassadors
  • Update on stakeholder initiatives across Africa
  • Consideration of upcoming events, including activities for the African Union Nutrition Champion.

Following completion of the draft ARNS (2015-2025), a framework for its implementation was presented at the event including the framework outlined, approaches to be undertaken in the first three years of the ten-year strategy. Approaches included resource mobilisation, advocacy, aligning Member State polices to ARNS and setting-up accountability mechanisms. ARNS (2015-2025) is due to be launched at the end of 2015 the AU Nutrition Champion, King Letsie III of Lesotho.

The ATTFND consists of experts from various organizations in the continent including the AU, New Partnership for Africa’s Development, Regional Economic Communities, governments, United Nations, civil society organizations, academic and research institutions and the private sector. They have a mandate to guide and support the development of food and nutrition policies and programs on the continental, and to advocate as well as to convince Africa’s policy-makers to prioritize food and nutrition security in socio-economic development. The ATFFND also provide a platform for effective networking and sharing information, as well as promote and guide research to advance nutrition and food security across Africa. The ATFFND was endorsed by the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the predecessor to the African Union, in its Resolution AHG/Res.224 (XXIX) of 1993.

The recommendations from the meeting will be put forward for deliberations and endorsement to the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on Health, Population and Drugs Control gathering next month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Read the full report 

Read a article on Campaign on accelerated reduction of maternal newborn and child mortality in Africa (CAARMA)

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