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African Union Nutrition Champion, His Majesty King Letsie III to convene High-level Dialogue on Nutrition Financing

Maseru- African Union Nutrition Champion, His Majesty King Letsie III in collaboration with the African Union Commission and partners, will host a two-day high-level dialogue on nutrition financing at Manthabiseng Convention Centre in Maseru from Thursday 23rd to Friday 24th March 2023.

It expected the event will be preceded by one day of private-sector and parliamentarian dialogue followed by a high-level session with the Africa ministers of finance on increased domestic resources for nutrition.

The event will provide an opportunity to present available evidence, lessons on resourcing, and discuss strategies and initiatives across sectors that can accelerate the positive transformation of our food systems to significantly reduce malnutrition and food insecurity on the continent. It will ensure the launch of a call to action for increased investments in nutrition across health; water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH); education; food; and social protection systems, as well as for better food systems, and nutrition governance and accountability.

Maseru AU high-level meeting comes up right after the endorsement of the Abidjan Declaration “Accelerate investment, implementation and coordination to improve nutrition and food security in Africa” and the 17th February 2023 Progress and Achievements in Addressing Malnutrition in Africa high-level event on the sidelines of the 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union.

Both events provided an opportunity to review progress and recommend key actions towards addressing malnutrition and all its forms and accelerate progress towards achievement of the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP)/Malabo targets, the six World Health Assembly nutrition targets, and the second Sustainable Development Goal, through sustained and increased investment for agrifood systems and nutrition. Having evaluated progress and achievements in addressing malnutrition on the continent, this event will be an opportunity to

take concrete financial commitments to resolve them.

This event builds on the success of the 2019 dialogue hosted by His Majesty King Letsie III which brought together the African Development Bank-African Leaders for Nutrition, parliamentarians from the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Eastern African Parliamentary Alliance for Food Security, and Nutrition (EAPA FSN), private sector and the civil societies organizations to foster Public-Private- Partnerships and Parliamentary support for continental initiatives.

His Majesty King Letsie III, Head of State of Lesotho and African Union Nutrition

Champion, serves as a prominent political figure for engaging Heads of State and Government and other policy and decision-makers to elevate nutrition on continental and domestic agendas and strengthen the political will to address the complex root causes of malnutrition and encouraging specific policy and financial commitments to ending the burden of malnutrition on the continent.

The African Union Commission (AUC) and Nutrition International (NI) will also launch an adolescent nutrition campaign, She’ll Grow Into It, whose goal is to improve the health, well-being, and empowerment of girls in Africa through nutrition. The campaign will be implemented in all AU member states, to prioritize adolescent nutrition in policies and budgets. Nearly 50% of adolescents in Africa are stunted and 30% of adolescent girls are anemic.

This year’s event will, aside from bringing Parliamentarians, be an opportunity to dialogue with Ministers of Finance and Development Planning who have played a key role in leading the implementation of the Cost of Hunger in Africa (COHA) study series. A study that provides governments and partners with key actionable and time-bound priority recommendations to improve the lives of children across the continent. The Ministers will also represent countries with African Leaders for Nutrition champions and members of the presidential dialogue group. This high-level group works to accelerate the reduction of stunting high-burden countries in Africa. Delegates are expected from the African Union Commission, African Leaders for Nutrition Champions, Ministers

of Finance and Development Planning – Cost of Hunger Countries, Parliamentarians from all five regions of Africa, Africa Union Development Agency, Regional Economic Communities, representatives of international organizations, United Nations agencies, and other development funding partners, African Nutrition Society research and academic institutions working in Africa on food systems, food security, and nutrition.

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