The Special Representative of the President of the ECOWAS Commission in Liberia, His Excellency Amb. Babatunde O. Ajisomo, has lauded the World Food Programme (WFP) and partners for providing school meals and girls take-home rations that are vital for the enhancement of the education of the Liberian child.
In a statement he delivered at the opening of the 16th ECOWAS Nutrition Forum in Monrovia on Monday, 18 November, Ambassador Ajisomo commended WFP, Mary’s Meals and Save the Children for providing school meals to about 200,000 children and adolescents in pre-primary and primary schools. “It is also gratifying that they are providing monthly girls take-home rations to about 20,000 adolescent girls across the 15 Counties of Liberia to enhance children and girls’ attendance, including retention and performance in school”.
The ECOWAS Biennial Nutrition Forum is a regional platform that brings together major stakeholders in nutrition to review nutrition policies, practices, and progress in the reduction of malnutrition and diet-related diseases and innovative practices in the region. This year’s forum was held around the theme “Adolescent nutrition: institutionalizing sustainable actions for improved outcomes in West Africa”.
At the same time, Amb. Ajisomo expressed happiness over the vital role Liberia is playing in the fight against malnutrition. This, he added, includes the setting up of a Scale-Up Nutrition (SUP) mechanism and efforts being made to fashion out a strategic plan for its operation. In parallel, an Integrated Content Analysis (ICA) Workshop was organized recently in Liberia by the Ministry of Agriculture in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) and other relevant stakeholders aimed towards developing a strategic plan for addressing food insecurity and natural shocks in Liberia.
Meanwhile, Vice President (VP) Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor, reminded nutrition stakeholders that “Addressing the health and nutrition of adolescents is multidimensional, and depends not only on a healthy food system, but also, on public policy choices.” VP Howard-Taylor also said: “Fortunately, there is a growing global and international momentum to tackle malnutrition. Nutrition is also included in the sustainable development goal (SDG) targets, thereby highlighting the importance of nutrition to national socio-economic development”.
Organized by the West Africa Health Organization in collaboration with the Liberia Ministry of Health, the ECOWAS Biennial Nutrition Forum, which ran from 18 – 21 November 2019 in Monrovia brought together participants from ECOWAS members states, the Africa Union, development partners and members of the diplomatic corps.