The 2017 report by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has revealed that EAC states have bigger numbers of children suffering from malnutrition and stunting growth than other African countries.
Under the report dubbed ‘Global Nutrition Report 2017’, 38 million children in EAC suffer from malnutrition whereas 1.7 million suffer from stunting growth.
The report indicates that EAC states top other African countries with malnutrition that stands 33.9%. In Northern region it is 8.3%, Central region 25.8%, Southern region 8.0% whereas in Western region stands at 11.5%.
Speaking in the meeting in Kigali yesterday, Dr Dia Sanou, in charge of Nutrition in the United Nations of Food and Agriculture Organisation in EAC stressed that parliamentarians in the region have a critical role in addressing food security problems.
He said that, food security problem was mainly due to insecurity and prolonged droughts in the region.
“It has been observed that EAC is among most affected regions with food security problem and stunting growth among children, but the main cause is insecurity, famine and armyworms that are damaging crops across the region” he said
“If agriculture is able to provide the right food, if economy and finance are able to provide the right resources for people to buy, if we can protect the most vulnerable through social protection, if we can educate people at school, there will be minimum challenges in having healthy lives,” he said.
He urged parliamentarians to increase agricultural budget saying that when you invest one dollar in agriculture activities, you harvest $16 from the invested value.
The speaker of parliament Donatille Mukabalisa said that they are committed to sensitizing population about possible approaches to ending food insecurity.