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ECOWAS initiatives aim to curb hunger

24 February 2014, 18:20

Abuja -  The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and other partners, is this week scheduled to launch the West Africa Zero Hunger Initiative aiming to eradicate starvation in the region.

The regional body would also adopts a new approach to the governance of agricultural, food and nutrition issues in West Africa during an inception workshop ongoing in Ghana.

According a statement made available in Abuja on Monday, the workshop would be held until Wednesday.

“The workshop will enable the stakeholders to forge a common understanding of the nature of the Initiative, a country-focused and results-oriented set of actions that reinforces and strengthens existing strategies and programmes for eliminating food insecurityand malnutrition in ECOWAS Member States,” the regional bloc stated.

Participants at the workshop are discussing how the Zero Hunger Initiative can add value to regional and county level Food Security and Nutrition (FSN) efforts and how the initiative relates to efforts with similar objective, and the definition of involvement of actors.

“The West African Zero Hunger initiative subscribes to the UN Secretary-General’s vision for a future where no person is hungry, where every woman, child and man enjoys their right to food; women are empowered; priority is given to family farming; and food systems everywhere are made sustainable and resilient.”

According to ECOWAS, despite the rapid population growth rate in the region between 1990 and 2013, the level of undernourishment dropped from 45 million between 1990 and 92 to approximately 34.5 million between 2011 and 2013, the most striking being the drop from 24 per cent to 11 per cent  between 1991 and 2012.

“This implies that as a region, West Africa has achieved the Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of people suffering from hunger by 2015, with six States - Benin, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Togo already attaining this objective. ECOWAS and FAO believe that moving towards a zero hunger West Africa is a bold political commitment that needs to be maintained for one to three decades.”

– CAJ News

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