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UN, Ecobank Foundation partner to fight malnutrition in Africa

UN, Ecobank Foundation partner to fight malnutrition in Africa
February 10
17:20 2021

UNITLIFE, a United Nations development initiative, has partnered with the Ecobank Group’s Foundation to fight chronic malnutrition in Africa.

The two parties launched the ‘Make the Connection’ campaign to raise awareness and mobilise funds to prevent chronic malnutrition in the continent.

UNITLIFE was established by the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and UN Women to prepare financial resources to contribute to the development of resilient and nutrition-sensitive food systems.

In a statement co-signed by UNITLIFE and Ecobank on Wednesday, the organisations said the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the malnutrition crisis in Africa.

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Although about 144 million children under the age of five suffer from chronic malnutrition worldwide. Most of them are in Africa where as many as 24 African countries have a burden of above 30 percent.

The statement noted that many children in the continent risk life-long consequences, including stunted growth and cognitive development as a result of not having a diet that meets their nutrient needs during the first 1,000 days of their lives.

Assia Sidibe, head of UNITLIFE secretariat, said: “Everywhere in Africa, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a disastrous effect on people’s income and ability to access nutritious foods.

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“The Standing Together for Nutrition Consortium projects that an estimated 1.2 million additional children in Sub-Saharan Africa will be stunted in 2022 compared to 2019 due to interruptions in nutrition services and increased household poverty.

“It is imperative that we shine more light on chronic malnutrition in these challenging times. UNITLIFE is excited to partner with the Ecobank Foundation to raise awareness and funds to fight this disease.”

Ecobank is supporting the communication efforts of the campaign and bringing the necessary expertise to set-up the fundraising mechanisms.

Carl Manlan, chief operating officer, Ecobank Foundation, said the organisation is happy to contribute to “allowing a healthier and more prosperous future for children in Africa.”

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