African Leaders convene to discuss ways to beat hunger and malnutrition

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COTONOU, Benin:

His Excellence Abdoulaye Bio Tchané, Minister of State for Planning and Development of the Republic of Benin, and The Right Honorable Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima, Vice President of the Republic of Malawi will co-chair the first meeting of The Malabo Montpellier Forum  in Cotonou, Benin. The Forum will convene high-level decision-makers from African countries and international development partners to discuss strategies for beating hunger and malnutrition in Africa.

The Right Honorable Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima said: “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.”

Several African countries have been able to reduce malnutrition significantly in the last decade, proving that the fight against malnutrition can be won. However, in sub-Saharan Africa, undernourishment affected 224 million people in 2016, accounting for 25 percent of undernourished people in the world. In order to stop this suffering, it is crucial that policy makers learn lessons from countries that are making progress in the fight against hunger and malnutrition.

This Forum is one of the only high-level platforms in Africa dedicated to evidence based dialogue and exchange on critical issues of food security and agricultural growth

Abdoulaye Bio Tchané said: “This Forum is one of the only high-level platforms in Africa dedicated to evidence based dialogue and exchange on critical issues of 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. This inaugural meeting will allow us to review policy and programmatic lessons which can ensure that we provide the best environment for Africans to win the fight against malnutrition.”

Senegal, Ghana and Rwanda reduced the number of undernourished people and wasted and stunted children by more than 50% between 2000 and 2016, according to the Global Hunger Index, while Angola, Cameroon, Ethiopia and Togo achieved reductions of more than 40%. What did they do right? What are the policies, institutional and programmatic innovations that made the progress possible? These and related questions will be the focus of the one-day meeting.

Stefan Schmitz, Head of the Division of Rural Development and Food Security at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in Bonn said: “It is very encouraging to see that many African countries have made progress, and it shows that we can achieve a world free of hunger and malnutrition. The Government of Germany’s One World No Hunger initiative and the G20 Declaration highlight our commitment to work alongside African governments to achieve these goals. As leaders in our governments, we must make the effort to share evidence about the interventions that work in order to meet the target of ending hunger by 2030.”

The Malabo Montpellier Forum works in parallel with the Malabo Montpellier Panel. The Panel gathers evidence and prepares reports and the Forum convenes decision makers at the highest level to discuss the successes and challenges presented by evidence.