, NEW YORK, Sep 21 – African nations may never realise their development targets unless the International community addressed the widespread malnutrition challenges afflicting the continent, a summit of African First Ladies in New York heard on Tuesday.
The First Ladies now want the United Nations and the World Leaders to prioritise the implementation of policies that could stem cases of malnutrition, to fast track the realisation of the development goals.
Mama ida Odinga, the wife to Prime Minister Raila Odinga joined other First Ladies in attendance to sign a declaration compelling the international community to act on the rising cases of malnutrition in the third world countries.
She expressed fears that the envisaged dream towards the realisation of the Millenniums Development Goals (MDG) could flop but declared her resolve to push the nutritional agenda to keep the quest on track.
Mrs Odinga who has championed the crusade on the maternal and child health matters in the country observed that the nutritional component on the nation was key in meeting the development target.
Signatories to the petition included Malawian First Lady Callista Mutharika and her Lesotho counterpart lady Mathato Mosisili.
Representatives from the World Food Programme, Bill and Melinda Foundation, UNICEF goodwill ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa Yvonne Chaka Chaka, witnessed the signing ceremony at the close of the two days conference.
United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) announced plans to release at least Ksh 80 million to expand efforts to reduce the growing burden of malnutrition.
Notable figures in attendance included WFP Deputy Executive Director Sheila Sisulu, Dr Mary Shawa (Malawi’s Secretary of Nutrition) Katharine Kreis, Lead Nutrition, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Sheila Sisulu, Deputy Executive Director, World Food Programme, Yvonne Chaka.
The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), is promoting effective solutions to reach maternal health goals and prevent child deaths after indicators pointed to food fortification as the cost effective remedy in delivering the goals.