THE African Union (AU) has pledged to support Zambia’s pro-poor agenda on ending hunger and malnutrition as the continent strives to improve the state of food security and nutrition.
AU Commissioner for health, humanitarian affairs and social development, Minata Samate says she is happy with Zambia’s commitment to ending hunger and malnutrition.
Ms Samate said this when she held bilateral talks with Zambia’s Vice-President WK Mutale-Nalumango in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire on Wednesday evening.
She said the continent had a lot to learn from Zambia on its commitment to ending hunger by ensuring issues that bordered positively on the food security of the country such as peace, security and stability were sustained.
She said the ambitious target by Zambia to end malnutrition by 2030 was impressive in building Africa as envisioned by the AU member states, to have a healthy population for sustainable development.
“Seeing your engagement to end the situation is very important, because it goes. with healthy issues, while also encouraging a variety of healthy foods for people,” Ms Samate said.
She applauded Zambia for tackling nutrition challenges through a cross-cutting technique, saying that good nutrition was linked to various sectors such as clean water and good sanitation among others.
Ms Mutale-Nalumango said Zambia was where it was because of the Government’s political will to ensure that matters of food and nutrition were prioritised.
Ms Mutale-Nalumango said this was one of the remedies for the country to graduate to middle income level by 2030.
She said Zambia was dedicated to ensuring the fight against malnutrition was multifaceted by engaging various ministries and partners, so that the nutrition status of the Zambian people was improved Meanwhile, Ms Mutale- Nalumango called on the AU member states to go beyond pronouncing commitments made during events such as summits, if tangible results are to be achieved.
She advised African leaders to aggressively address matters regarding food security and nutrition by implementing necessary policies.
“We need to agree as a continent by uniting and moving together to end hunger as well as eliminate malnutrition so that people live better lives,” she advised.
Earlier on arrival, for the African Leaders High Level Dialogue on AU, Ms Mutale- Nalumango said there was need for African govemments to learn from each other to have a holistic approach in tackling the issues of nutrition on the continent.
She said the continent had continued facing challenges in terms of nutrition. Ms Mutale-Nalumango said Africa had been experiencing hunger and malnutrition due to various factors which include wars, pandemics among other challenges.
She said the meeting was important for African countries to discuss solutions in reference to the Malabo declaration on the commitments made to improve nutrition. “As Africa we can work and ensure that the issue of nutrition is tackled,” she said.
Ms Mutale-Nalumango said government have taken the matter seriously by moving the fight against hunger and malnutrition to be handled by the Vice President’s office in order to approach the challenge holistically as there are many things that impact on the nutritional status of people.
The African Union designated 2022 the year of nutrition under the theme “strengthening resilience in nutrition and food security on the African continent,” ZANIS