Framework for supporting countries to address the food crisis and malnutrition in the African region

  • PS Lusamba-Dikassa
  • D Nsue-Milang
  • D Okello
  • T Ketsela
  • C Sagoe-Moses
  • F Lule
  • A Dushimimana
  • P Mensah
Keywords: Malnutrition, food, crisis, insecurity, unsafe

Abstract

Of the world's undernourished children, 80% live in 20 countries; nine of these are in sub-Saharan Africa. Africa is home to 15 of the 16 countries where prevalence of hunger exceeds 35 per cent. This precarious food security situation in Africa has been compounded by economic and food crises which began in 2007, resulting in a rise by about 83% in food commodity prices.When food is in short supply, safety is compromised resulting in the consumption of unsafe food. Assuring safe food and
ending malnutrition require decisive actions in several areas. In line with its Core Functions, global and regional agreements and as a key player in health, the WHO’s vital role in addressing the food crisis is in preventing the effects of food insecurity, undernutrition and unsafe food. In order to scale-up actions to address the adverse effects of food insecurity and malnutrition in the African Region, the forty-fourth session of the
Regional Programme Meeting (RPM44) discussed the topic Food Crisis in Africa: Implications for Nutrition and Food Safety Actions in the Region. A framework was therefore developed to facilitate joint actions in addressing the food crisis and malnutrition in the WHO African Region for better impact at country level. This paper provides a summary of the Framework which highlight WHO’s role in the area of nutrition. It has four guiding principles: Country- level interventions, Community involvement and ownership; Adoption of multi-sectoral approach; Protection of vulnerable groups; and Evidence- based interventions. The Framework proposes actions to be implemented in countries with support of WHO and partners to meet the immediate food and nutritional needs of the vulnerable and build longer-term resilience to contribute to national food security. The expected impact of the implementation of these actions with support from WHO and partners is prevention of morbidity, mortality and the irreversible long-term effects of malnutrition on health and cognitive development.
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eISSN: 1684-5374
print ISSN: 1684-5358