Nigeria To Host 17th ECOWAS Nutrition Forum

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The West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO) is set to organise the 17th ECOWAS Nutrition Forum in Abuja, Nigeria, from April 19th-21st, 2023, with a focus on accelerating the achievement of regional nutrition indices through sustainable financing and multi-sectoral approaches.

The meeting, which will be hosted by the Federal Government of Nigeria, in collaboration with a coalition of technical and financial partners, will bring together about 250 nutrition experts from across the region to discuss policies, practices and innovative approaches to improve nutrition and health outcomes in the region.

With the theme, “Leveraging Sustainable Financing for Multi-Sectoral Approaches: Breaking Down Silos to Accelerate Universal Access to Safe, Affordable and Sustainable Diets,” the meeting seeks to examine innovative multi-sectoral collaboration practices that work best in terms of synergy of action and sustainable financing of nutrition interventions.

WAHO hopes to use the platform to provide practitioners with baseline data and communities with best practices to overcome malnutrition, which remains a problem for the region in the COVID-19/post-COVID-19 era and in the context of deep economic crisis. Additionally, the participants will discuss public-private partnership (PPP) approaches to improve access to diversified, micronutrient-rich foods sustainably and agree on sustainable mechanisms for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) of nutrition interventions.

The forum is a biennial regional platform that brings together key nutrition stakeholders to discuss nutrition policies and practices, progress in reducing malnutrition and diet-related diseases, and innovative practices in the region. The forum is an example of WAHO’s multi-sectoral approaches, involving a broad base of stakeholders, including the UN system, NGOs, bilateral and multilateral agencies, the ECOWAS Commission and Parliament, civil society and all member states.

The 17th ECOWAS Nutrition Forum will be opened by Nigeria’s vice-president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo alongside a host of regional nutrition champions and supported by partners such as UNICEF, USAID, the World Bank, FAO, UEMOA, GAIN, CS-SUNN, Alive and Thrive, Advancing Nutrition, Nutrition International and HSDF.

Racheal Abujah
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