Today May 29, 2015, Nutrition networks from across East Africa are meeting in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania to Launch the Global Nutrition Report and chart a course for improved action on nutrition in the region.
The event will bring together an expected 40 participants from Scaling up Nutrition networks across Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi.
Distinguished guests are expected to come from the office of the Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania, the Chair of the Tanzanian Parliamentary Group on Nutrition, Food Security, and Children’s rights, and His Majesty the King Oyo Nyimba Iguru, King of Toro Kingdom, Uganda.
Across East African countries, stunting (short height for age due to chronic malnutrition) ranges from 1 in every 3 children to as high as 1 in every 2.
Malnutrition has severe consequences on the survival and lifelong mental and physical abilities of individuals, and also on national economies. Despite this massive challenge, resources to nutrition‐specific programs in East Africa amount to only a small fraction of national health budgets.
“We are facing a chronic emergency that will not wait for our attention. For the healthy future of our countries and communities, we must act now and encourage the governments of our region to make political and financial commitments that match the scale of the challenge set before us,” said Dr. Aristide Madagasha of the Burundi Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Network (SUN CSN).
Launched globally last year, the Global Nutrition Report is the first report to compile comprehensive data on the status of nutrition around the world, highlighting progress in combating malnutrition, identifying gaps, and proposing solutions. Participants in the East Africa launch will compare the report’s findings to the region’s status, and plan action to ensure East African governments increase commitment and accountability for nutrition.
“Most East African countries are not on track to meet globally‐agreed World Health Assembly targets on nutrition. In just one year the global community will come together at the second Nutrition for Growth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2016 to take stock of global progress.
The East African community must make new and ambitious financial and political commitments to ensure we do not fall behind in efforts to defeat malnutrition,” said Dr. Million Shibeshi of the Ethiopia Civil Society Coalition ‐ Scaling Up Nutrition (ECSC‐SUN).