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Sunday, March 2, 2014

NENA countries pledge cooperation on hunger, nutrition

 Governments from the Near East and North Africa (NENA) has wrapped up a five-day meeting on regional food security challenges pledging enhanced cooperation to tackle the critical issues of water management, food waste and building more resilient rural communities, reports NaijAgroNet.

The communiqué made available to NaijAgroNet after the 32nd regional conference of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for the Near East and North Africa, endorsed three key proposals tabled during the talks.

NaijAgroNet also reports that the first was a regional strategy framework to bring countries together to improve food security and nutrition. Though at present, the number of undernourished people in the 19 countries of the Near East and North Africa remains high at nearly 43.7 million, or 10 per cent of the population.

Reducing those numbers while coping with a ongoing population growth, increasing scarcity of natural resources and climate change will require much closer inter-governmental cooperation.

The framework endorsed today calls on governments to work together to  address lagging productivity growth through increased investment in research and development; improvements to supply chain efficiencies that will reduce exposure to market volatility and other shocks; and strengthened safety nets and nutrition education programs.

The creation of strategic regional cereal reserves to help offset spikes in commodity prices is another tool considered by the framework.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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