The Nutritional Situation in the African Region: Challenges and Perspectives Round Table 1
Abstract1. According to the 2004 world nutrition situation report,1 Africa is the only continent that is unlikely to reach the millennium development goal2 of halving the current level of undernutrition in children under 5 years of age by 2015 unless concerted efforts are made to redress the situation. The continued deterioration in nutrition in the African Region is unacceptable and a cause for concern. 2. In the 1980s, many countries in the African Region made steady progress in reducing levels of protein energy malnutrition. According to the United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition,3 the primary health care (PHC) strategy and large-scale community-based nutrition programmes were primarily responsible for progress in nutrition during the 1980s. This progress was made despite the absence of economic growth. However, the situation began to deteriorate from the early 1990s. This is attributed to factors such as economic decline; subsequent reduction in investments in the health sector; recurrent droughts, wars and civil strife that displaced many communities; and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. 3. In an effort to stem the decline in food security and nutrition, there were several global and regional initiatives to guide and mobilize countries. These include the World Summit for Children (1990) that set goals for child survival; the International Conference on Nutrition (1992) which provided a framework and strategy for national nutrition programmes; and the World Food Summit (1996) that set goals for reducing food insecurity. Unfortunately many countries did not have the technical and financial resources to implement the recommendations. At the regional level, the Organisation of African Union adopted a nutrition strategy for Africa in 1992.
Regional Committee for Africa, 54. (2004). The Nutritional Situation in the African Region: Challenges and Perspectives Round Table 1. WHO. Regional Office for Africa. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/93126
DescriptionRegional Committee for Africa Fifty-fourth Session Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, 30 August–3 September 2004, Provisional agenda item 13
Gov't Doc #AFR/RC54/RT/1
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Nutrition for health and development : progress and prospects on the eve of the 21st century [progress report June 1999] World Health Organization. Dept. of Nutrition for Health and Development (WHO/NHD/99.9, 1999)