Africa Development Bank reinforces commitment to end child stunting and malnutrition

COTE D’IVOIRE – Africa Development Bank in partnership with the Aliko Dangote Foundation and Big Win Philanthropy have renewed their commitment to end child stunting and other forms of malnutrition through a nutrition partnership.

The Banking on Nutrition Partnership was founded 5 years ago to help African countries combat effects of malnutrition in children.

Although it performs relatively well against other regions, Africa still experiences a malnutrition burden among children aged under 5 years.

The average prevalence of overweight is 4.7%, which is lower than the global average of 5.6%. The prevalence of stunting is 29.1% – higher than the global average of 21.3%.

Partners to the program convened recently to share lessons learned, experiences and achievements of the partnership.

They also discussed its implementation within the African Development Bank and its Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Action Plan, as well as measures to encourage other organizations and development banks to integrate nutrition into their portfolios.

The Bank is relentless in pursuing bold targets to unlock Africa’s human and economic potential. It is our aim to inspire other actors to recognize nutrition as central to that agenda,” said Dr. Beth Dunford, Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development Complex, African Development Bank in her address.

Malnutrition continues to rob generations of Africans of the chance to grow to their full physical and cognitive potential, hugely impacting health outcomes and economic development.

The Banking on Nutrition Partnership aims to generate long term economic growth for Africa by investing in “Grey Matter Infrastructure.”

In 2020, 61.4 million African children were registered as stunted, with Africa being the only region where the number of stunted children has risen and 40% of all stunted children in the world live on the African continent.

The Partnership has demonstrated its effectiveness through numerous initiatives and programs such as support for Ethiopia’s Seqota Declaration – a commitment to end stunting in children under two by 2030.

The African Development Bank approved US$48 million in funding for the Government of Ethiopia’s Multi-Sectoral Approach for Stunting Reduction Project (MASReP).

Positive results of the Banking on Nutrition Partnership include integration of nutrition into 18% of African Development Bank projects, with 21% of project interventions prioritizing focus on women and children.

The Bank also surpassed its 2025 targets of 15% and 10% nutrition-smart investments in the WASH and social protection sectors respectively.

In its next phase, the Banking on Nutrition Partnership will prioritize 10 countries using the African Development Bank’s Grey Matter Infrastructure Investment Index, a criterion based on country rankings centered on their stunting burden and borrowing headroom.

These countries include Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Sudan, Madagascar, Kenya, Burundi, Mali, and Burkina Faso.

Launched in 2018, the Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Action Plan 2018-2025 is an ambitious plan to leverage additional financial resources through nutrition smart investments across sectors such health, agriculture, WASH, social protection and education to support a 40% stunting reduction across the continent by 2025.

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