The aim is to develop a five year joint program which fully integrates nutrition security into the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)
Addis Ababa, 23 January 2011. GAIN - the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition – and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) are proud to announce that they signed a Memorandum of Understanding which will significantly contribute to reduce malnutrition in Africa. The agreement was co-signed today in Addis Ababa during NEPAD’s steering committee between Jay Naidoo, chair of GAIN Board and Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO of NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency.
In Africa, one in four people suffer from malnutrition, twenty-five percent of children are undernourished and forty percent are stunted. Fifty-three percent of pregnant women in Africa are anemic. “Malnutrition is costing millions of lives, in particular women and children. It also prevents millions of people from contributing to the Continent’s growth and development” said Jay Naidoo, chair of GAIN Board. “It is directly linked to achieving the MDGs, including poverty reduction, child mortality, maternal health, AIDS and many other infectious diseases”. It is estimated that countries lose up to 3% of GDP due to malnutrition.
“We know solutions exist to reduce malnutrition through a number of simple, targeted and cost-effective interventions” said Jay Naidoo. “The critical window of opportunity is the 1,000 days of life, from conception to two-years old. Fortified staples, the promotion of breastfeeding, complementary foods after 6 months of age are some of those interventions available to help break this cycle of malnutrition”.
“Since malnutrition has multiple causes, improvement requires multi-sectoral action across the food security, agriculture, social protection, health and educational sectors” said Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO of NEPAD. “This poses a significant delivery challenge for national governments. Although tested, affordable and effective interventions are available; implementation has not yet reached scale”.
The aim of this agreement is to develop a five year joint program to support national investment programs which fully integrate nutrition security into the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and which help to harmonize CAADP and nutrition interventions.
NEPAD and GAIN have collaborated since 2003 on the development of CAADP and the NEPAD Nutrition Lens. In September at the MDG Review Summit in New York, a new international framework for tackling malnutrition, the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Roadmap, was widely endorsed by implementing agencies and donors. The SUN approach reflects a shift in global awareness that acknowledges that a major inhibitor to reaching the MDGs is poor nutrition, which is a particularly important to the Millennium Development Goals 1, 4, 5 and 6. A major focal point for action is the 1000 day window from conception to two years of age.
With this agreement, GAIN and NEPAD will assess existing policies, practices and capacities in agriculture, nutrition and food security. GAIN and NEPAD will take the lead in engaging private sector, donors and national decision makers and coordinate action in expanding access to more nutritious food.
The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) is an alliance driven by the vision of a world without malnutrition. GAIN is a Swiss foundation that mobilizes public-private partnerships and provides financial and technical support to deliver nutritious foods to those people most at risk of malnutrition. It was created in 2002 at a Special Session of the UN General Assembly on Children. GAIN is delivering improved nutrition to close to 400 million people, half of whom are women and children, in more than 25 countries. Sixty nine percent of GAIN’s 400 million current beneficiaries – approximately 275 million people- are Africans who benefit from food fortification, Infant and Young Child Nutrition programs and salt iodization. GAIN aims to more than double the number of beneficiaries by 2015. GAIN’s goal is to reach more than one billion people with fortified foods that have sustainable nutritional impact. GAIN is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and its presence in Cairo, Johannesburg, Nairobi, New Delhi, Shanghai and Washington D.C. supports programs. For more information, please visit: http://www.gainhealth.org/.
About NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency
The NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency) as the technical body of the African Union www.africa-union.org, works closely with the African Union Commission (AUC), regional economic communities, national governments, civil society and the private sector to push for programmes and projects that focus on improving the lives of the African people. The NEPAD Agency is the leading African development expert, able to mobilise the private sector, heads of state and African people as a force for positive change, building continental prosperity and regional integration. For more information, go to: www.nepad.org