African Development Bank announces new plans to reduce stunting by 40%
In collaboration with the Alike Danote Foundation and Big Win Philanthropy, the African Development Bank (ADB) has announced a new Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Action Plan with the aim of increasing investments towards stunting reduction. It hopes the new plan will reduce stunting by 40% by 2025.
It is estimated that Africa loses $25 billion each year due to child morbidity or mortality, impaired cognitive, physical, and economic development caused by malnutrition.
Jamie Cooper, Chair and President of Big Win Philanthropy stated:
“In terms of human development, nutrition is as important as investments in infrastructure and power in stimulating economic growth.
“By leveraging investments across five sectors, and encouraging its member countries to do the same, the African Development Bank is achieving 'double wins' for every dollar spent: improving lives and generating economic growth.”
In 2017, more than one third of the world’s stunted children under the age of five lived in Africa with stunting rates ranging from 35.6% in East Africa to 17.3% in Northern Africa. It is the only region in the world where the number of stunted children has grown within the last few years.
The plan will integrate nutrition smart interventions into projects in the ADB’s agricultural pipeline. For example, the bank’s Feed Africa Strategy incorporates the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) goals of contributing to the elimination of malnutrition, poverty and extreme hunger.
The Action Plan also includes commodity value chains which offer broad-based nutrition value, rather than just calories.
Oley Dibba-Wadda, Director Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development Department at African Development Bank commented:
“The African continent has the potential to become a powerhouse of productivity in the 21st century but cannot sustain rates of economic growth and at the same time integrate its burgeoning youth population without addressing these high rates of stunting.”
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Photo Credit: UNICEF