Chilima, others discuss hunger


Vice-President Saulos Chilima yesterday co-chaired the first meeting of high-level decision-makers from African countries and international development partners who are discussing strategies for beating hunger and malnutrition.
The forum, whose first meeting Chilima chaired together with Benin’s Minister of State for Planning and Development, Abdoulaye Bio Tchané, is taking place in the West African country’s largest city, Cotonou.
It is called The Malabo Montpellier Forum.
A statement released yesterday by Diga Communications says The Malabo Montpellier Forum works in parallel with the Malabo Montpellier Panel, where the panel gathers evidence and prepares reports and the forum convenes decision, makers to discuss the successes and challenges presented by evidence.
It quotes Chilima as having called for unity in the pursuit to achieve the goals set by both the African Union (AU) and the Malabo Declaration.
“We are delighted to host the inaugural meeting of the Malabo Montpellier Forum in Benin. The African Union and Malabo Declaration have set us some clear goals, including to increase agricultural productivity, halve poverty, and end hunger. In order to successfully meet these targets, it will be crucial to work together,” Chilima is quoted as having said. The statement adds that several African countries have been able to reduce malnutrition in the last decade, proving that the fight against malnutrition can be won.
Tchané observed that the forum is one of the only high-level platforms in Africa dedicated to evidence-based dialogue and exchange on critical issues bordering on food security and agricultural growth.
“It is a brilliant way to share what works, why and how. Across Africa, countries are tackling the issue of malnutrition with resourcefulness and ingenuity. Policies and programmes are being implemented that have been able to make a real difference,” he is quoted as saying.
On his part, Stefan Schmitz, who is Head of the Division of Rural Development and Food Security at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in Bonn, said the progress that African countries have made shows achieving a world free of hunger and malnutrition is possible.
The Malabo Montpellier Panel consists of 17 leading African and European experts in agriculture, ecology, nutrition, public policy and global development.
Hosted by the West and Central African Office of the International Food Policy Research Institute University of Bonn and Imperial College and headquartered in Dakar, Senegal, the panel works with African governments and civil society organisations to provide access to data and analyses that facilitate the design and implementation of policies that enhance agriculture, food and nutrition security.

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