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Showing posts with label leaders. Show all posts
Showing posts with label leaders. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Women, excellent investment as finance leaders urge increased support - NaijaAgroNet

Leaders from multilateral development banks, financial institutions and the private sector called on peers to dispel myths about women being too “high risk” for financing and offer more financial services for women in business to close the gender finance gap, reports NaijaAgroNet.

“We know that women are a good bet. We know they pay back. We know they run excellent businesses – and yet they are not getting financed,” said Dr Jennifer Blanke, African Development Bank Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development.

An important step is for multilateral development banks to offer credit guarantees to commercial banks to invest in women entrepreneurs, Blanke said.

“We know that if we provide those guarantees, then the banks are going to be lending to a lot more women, and they are going to discover that women are an excellent bet – and are an excellent investment.”

Blanke and other leaders were speaking at the “Using Innovative Financing Mechanisms to Accelerate Finance for Women in Business” plenary panel session at the Global Gender Summit on Tuesday.

The international gathering of gender champions from government, finance institutions, multilateral development banks, civil society and private industry, runs from 25 - 27 November in Kigali, Rwanda.

Panelists acknowledged that strides have been taken to bring gender equity to financing. However, according to World Economic Forum data, at current rates of progress it will take at least 200 years to close the global pay gap between men and women.

Asian Development Bank’s Gender Lead, Sakiko Tanaka, noted this 2019 Global Gender Summit has seen increased awareness of the need for women’s financial inclusion to achieve gender equality.

“There’s more money coming in for gender equality. However, there are still major gaps globally and as well as in each region,” said Tanaka, who also serves as chairperson of the multilateral development bank working group on gender.

Women face unique constraints such as poorer access to collateral and land, running smaller business compared to male entrepreneurs and blurred lines between women’s personal and professional finance spend.

Wendy Teleki, Head of the We-Fi (Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative) Secretariat and the panel moderator, led the six panelists in exploring how financial institutions and multilateral development banks are innovating to expand women’s access to finance. Aside from risk-sharing interventions like credit guarantees to lenders, panelists said increasing women’s financial literacy was also key to closing the gender gap.

“It’s not about corporate social responsibility or charity,” said panelist Barbara Rambousek, Director for Gender and Economic Inclusion at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. “It is about developing that business case and developing a proper set of financial and non-financial services.”

In Africa, 70% of women are excluded financially and there is a $42 billion financing gap between men and women. Yet panelist Solomon Lartey, Managing Director and CEO of Activa International Insurance Ghana sees opportunity, particularly in West Africa, home to what he says is the world’s highest rate of women entrepreneurs.

“To get women where they want to be, we had to walk with them. The first thing is training them [about financial services], then granting them access to legal assistance and to financial education – we have to do all those things,” Lartey said.

The panel also discussed innovations related to financial technology, alternative credit information, and online tools for financial services as a way to grow businesses.

In some developing regions of the world, women face challenges getting basic documents like a birth certificate, required by commercial bank applications.

Tesi Rusagara, the head of Kigali Innovation City, said the more services for documentation and financing tools are brought online, the more value will be created for women.

John Wilson, CEO of Equity Bank, added that it is important to not only use data and technology in financial services, but to also have a physical presence where clients are, to make a human connection.

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor


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Thursday, February 7, 2019

African leaders for Nutrition to launch accountability scorecard - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:
The African leaders will gather at a side event of the 32nd African Union Summit, to launch the African Leaders for Nutrition (ALN), the continental nutrition accountability scorecard, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The launch slated for Skylight Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, would hold on Monday, February 11, 2019.

NaijaAgroNet reports that the scorecare is to raise awareness and reinforce commitments by African governments to end malnutrition and promote healthy children on the continent.

Some of the confirmed the African Union high calibre members including His Majesty King Letsie III of the Kingdom of Lesotho, the African Development Bank, the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other partners, will launch the African Leaders For Nutrition (ALN) Continental Nutrition Accountability Scorecard.

The event, under the theme “A Call for Better Advocacy and Accountability for Nutrition Investments,” will be chaired by, His Majesty King Letsie III and African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina.

The Continental Nutrition Accountability Scorecard is the latest tool produced by ALN to raise awareness and reinforce commitments by African governments to end malnutrition and promote healthy children.

This data-based advocacy tool gives an overview of how African leaders are doing on their delivery of the main nutrition indicators. It is expected that the scorecard will increasingly be used to track Africa’s effort to halt malnutrition and its effects.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Friday, August 3, 2018

Aurecon’s Lloyd elected into Emerging Water Leaders Steering Committee - NaijaAgroNet

Lloyd Fisher-Jeffes, a Civil Engineer with global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon, has been elected to the Emerging Water Leaders Steering Committee of the International Water Association (IWA), reports NaijaAgroNet.

The election, NaijaAgroNet reports, recognised his outstanding role in coordinating a committee of 30 Young Water Professionals as part of the 8th International Young Water Professionals Conference (IYWPC), held in July in Cape Town.

Fisher-Jeffes will attend several global meetings where he will have the opportunity to influence how the IWA engages with young water professionals and contribute to the IWA’s current activities at an international level. Besides being able to network with various IWA leaders and committees, he will be able to contribute to best practice frameworks while developing his competencies as a leader and water engineer.

James Cullis, Aurecon’s Global Service Leader for Water, says Fisher-Jeffes’ election to the IWA’s Emerging Water Leaders Steering Committee is a reward for his exceptional ability as a young professional in the water sector, as well as a future leader in the industry.

“Lloyd did an excellent job as Chair of the local organising committee of the IYWPC. He is not only a critical part of our Cape Town water resources team, but will also be a key player in the future of Aurecon’s water consultancy,” says Cullis.

“One of the takeaways from the IYWPC event was the urgent need for Young Water Professionals to have a seat at the table,” says Fisher-Jeffes. “We need to be more involved in planning the future of water infrastructure in our countries. I hope that my role as the YWP Specialist Group Coordinator will allow me to facilitate and encourage Specialist Groups to invite YWP’s to become involved in their initiatives,”

He also hopes his role will help inspire other Young Water Professionals to take a more proactive role in infrastructure planning.

“I want to motivate Young Water Professionals to get involved in designing the solutions of the future. Water resource planning typically has a 30-year horizon and the current generation will either benefit from or suffer the consequences of decisions made in the sector today. As under 35-year-olds, we will be leaders 30 years from now, so it’s important to get involved in the decisions that will shape the infrastructure we will be managing and operating,” says Fisher-Jeffes.

He is currently working on a project advising the City of Cape Town on its drought response and future water resource planning. Some of his former projects include flood studies and 2D modelling. 


“As the IWA membership includes environmentalists, sociologists, activists, scientists and engineers, I’m looking forward to being exposed to diverse ideas and innovative thinking on water management. The diverse solutions that are presented on this platform will help me broaden my competencies and become a better water engineer,” concludes Fisher-Jeffes.

Nenye Dom/GEE

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Pix: Lloyd Fisher-Jeffes

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

African leaders unite against malaria, launch ‘Zero Malaria Starts with Me’ - NaijaAgroNet

African leaders have launched the Zero MalariaStarts with Me, a continent-wide campaign co-led by the African Union Commission and the Roll-Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership to End Malaria, to see more people involved in the fight against the disease that kills over 400,000 Africans every year, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Following reports that malaria cases have increased for the first time in more than a decade, Zero Malaria Starts with Me seeks to reignite a society-wide movement to get back on track efforts that contributed to a 60% decline in cases and saved an estimated 7 million lives since 2000, and to help meet the goal of eliminating malaria across Africa by 2030.

The campaign, unveiled Sunday during the AIDS Watch Africa Meeting at the 31st African Union Summit by President Macky Sall of Senegal and King Mswati III of Eswatini and endorsed by 55 (TBC) African Heads of State and Government today, empowers communities to take greater ownership of malaria prevention and care, and to mobilise additional resources for the effort.

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Chair of the African Union, says: “The African continent accounts for over 90% of the global malaria burden. It is in this context that we have launched the “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” campaign, a continent-wide public-facing campaign for a malaria-free Africa. The campaign will reignite grassroot movements in which individuals, families, communities, religious leaders, private sector, political leaders, and other members of society pledge to take responsibility in the fight against malaria.”

Inspired by Senegal’s nationwide campaign of the same name launched in 2014, Zero Malaria Starts with Me is now being rolled out across the African continent to encourage all citizens – political, business, community and religious leaders, as well as individuals, families and communities – to make a personal commitment to ending malaria for good.

To date, over 20 African nations have committed to join in supporting the campaign, with presidents of Uganda, Zambia and Mozambique already launching nationwide campaigns that include large-scale bed net distribution drives to establishing high-level national End Malaria Councils and parliamentary groups on malaria. Others, including the First Ladies of Ghana and Niger, have pledged to do more to engage leaders and communities to fight malaria in their countries.

President Macky Sall of Senegal comments: “In my country, malaria has long been a major public health concern threatening the socio-economic development and structural transformation trajectory that has put our country on a firm path to sustainable development. It is through national ownership, shared responsibility and global solidarity that we can defeat malaria for good.”

HM King Mswati III of the Kingdom of Eswatini, Chair of the African Leaders’ Malaria Alliance, says: “This campaign further reinvigorates our commitment to eliminate malaria in Africa as we now call upon all our people at all levels to work with us in ridding our continent of this scourge. I urge all governments to invest more in fighting the disease, however the success of this campaign will depend on partnerships and on collaboration across sectors and amongst our population, for as government, we cannot win this fight against malaria alone.”

The campaign offers simple tools to increase community participation in malaria elimination efforts, keep pressure up on leaders to stay committed to ending the disease, and forge new partnerships that can contribute additional funding that will increase access to treatment, improve diagnosis and prevention against the deadly disease. Campaign resources are provided via a Zero Malaria Starts with Me toolkit available at www.zeromalaria.africa.


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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Make family planning sermons, media executive urges religious leaders

Religious leaders In Nigeria have been urged to make family planning a key subject in their sermons, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Leadership Newspapers, Mr Dele Fanimo, gave this charge at the Lagos office, when a delegation of Family Planning Media Advocacy Working Group (FPMAWG) led by its chairperson, Mrs. Chioma Umeha, paid him an advocacy visit.

Churches and mosques, he told NaijaAgroNet, need to do more, underlining the fact that some of these things should form part of the Sunday sermon and Friday mosque service.

“They need to demystify the myths and misconceptions to their members. Imagine a woman attaching child birth to inheritance. Some will say, if you live in a man’s house and no so, you will suffer when the man dies.

“Not able to cater for a large family can also lead to corruption because when you have more than you can care for, you would be forced to steal,” he bemoaned.

He also called on traditional leaders, religious leaders and political elites to help and demystify the myths and misconceptions of family planning as the media alone cannot do it.

As part of contributing its quarter in creating more awareness on FP, Fanimo assured FPMAWG that Leadership Newspaper is ready to work with them, declaring that he and Leadership team are already converts on FP.

Fanimo, accompanied by the acting General Manager, Southern Operation at Leadership, Mrs. Angela Tony Iji, further urged the FPMAWG to see beyond newspaper publications but go to the rural communities, community leaders and other stakeholders to sensitize them on the importance of FP.

“… They in turn will now be an advocate of family planning,” he declared.

The working group chairperson, Mrs. Umeha, noted that Family Planning (FP) has been a worldwide issue, which paved the way to an international Family Planning Summit in London on July 11, 2017, to discuss efforts to reach the FP 2020 goals and ensure that more women and girls around the world are able to plan their families and their future.

Umeha at the advocacy visit was in the company of Chioma Obinna of Vanguard Newspapers and Remmy Nweke of DigitalSENSE Africa Media, publishers of NaijaAgroNet, pointed out that the Summit made a commitment to increase the Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) from 15 percent to 27 percent by 2020 at that meeting.

He also said that in Nigeria, government at both the Federal and State have shown commitment to the provision of free FP services to the entire women of child-bearing age in the country.

Further, she said that family planning initiatives when effectively done, could reduce maternal deaths by up to 34 per cent and newborn death by about 15 per cent.

Also, the chairperson’s team included Pastor Olusegun Omotayo Adeboye as well as Mrs Shotomiwa Olubunmi, both of Lagos Advocacy Working Group (LAWG) and Public Health Sustainable Advocacy Initiative (PHSAI).


Isaac Oyimah/ED, Ops

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Fighting malnutrition: Aliko Dangote Foundation joins global leaders, pledges US$100m for Nigeria

The Global Nutrition Summit 2017 ended in the city of Milan, Italy, with Aliko Dangote Foundation joining global crusade with a pledge of $100m for Nigeria, reports NaijaAgroNet.
The Aliko Dangote Foundation, NaijaAgroNet gathered is on a mission to reduce the prevalence of undernutrition by 60 percent in the most needy areas of Nigeria, specifically the North East and North West.

The summit which convened governments, international agencies, foundations, civil society organisations and businesses to accelerate the global response to malnutrition, underlined the cause of nearly half of all global child deaths.

NaijaAgroNet reports that a major highlight of the Summit was the pledge by the Aliko Dangote Foundation to invest US$100 million over five years to tackle malnutrition in the worst-affected parts of Nigeria.

“The Aliko Dangote Foundation is the philanthropic organization of Aliko Dangote, founder and Executive Chairman of the Dangote Group, Africa’s largest homegrown conglomerate.
The Global Nutrition Summit is the global forum of the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2026).

This year’s edition, NaijaAgroNet reports was held in close partnership with a number of international stakeholders including the U.K.’s Department for International Development, the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the International Coalition on Advocacy for Nutrition.

The governments of Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Zambia all made commitments to expand their nutrition programmes and the Summit succeeded in galvanizing US3.4 billion according to the organisers.

Malnutrition affects every country in the world in various forms, however Africa is particularly hard hit and Nigeria is home to the highest numbers of malnourished children.

Almost half of the one million children who die before the age of five every year in Nigeria, die of malnutrition as the underlying cause. Without the proper nutrients during the first 1,000 days of life starting from conception up to their second birthday, children are less likely to survive childhood diseases such as malaria and pneumonia, and are less likely to escape poverty as adults.

Experts say, these children become physically and cognitively stunted, a fate that has befallen 11 million of Nigeria’s children under five.

The Aliko Dangote Foundation’s Managing Director and CEO Zouera Youssoufou said: “Nigeria’s high malnutrition rate is undermining progress towards improving child health and survival and putting the brakes on economic development. By investing in nutrition, we aim to directly improve the lives of Nigerian families and to empower our citizens to reach their full potential.”

The Global Nutrition Report 2017, launched at the Summit, showed that, in spite of progress, 155 million children globally are still stunted and the world is off track on meeting internationally agreed nutrition targets. Financing to tackle malnutrition has been alarmingly low. Donors spend about 0.5 percent of overseas aid on nutrition, and countries allocate between one and two percent of their health budgets to the issue.

“The global malnutrition crisis endangers the physical and mental wellbeing of present and future generations” said Kofi Annan, speaking at the summit in his capacity as Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation. “Progress in tackling both undernutrition and obesity is possible with targeted commitments, like those made here today. We need further urgent investments so that people, communities and nations can reach their full potential.”

Through his Foundation, since 1993, Aliko Dangote has made significant social investments in health, education, economic empowerment and disaster relief. He is now becoming the strongest voice for nutritional leadership nationally and on the continent of Africa. By making this unprecedented US$100 Million commitment, the Aliko Dangote Foundation is on a mission to reduce the prevalence of undernutrition by 60 percent in the most needy areas of Nigeria, specifically the North East and North West, where malnutrition has affected millions of lives and crippled the local economy.


Isaac Oyimah/GEE 
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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

AfDB urges leaders to make agriculture attractive for young Africans

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has urged African leaders to make agriculture attractive for the younger generation, reports NaijaAgroNet.

He was speaking on the occasion of the 2017 World Food Day, AfDB president highlighted how Africa’s food security depends on attracting young people to agriculture and agribusiness. The sector can potentially create wealth and employment for African youth, thereby stemming migration.

World Food Day, celebrated yearly on October 16, promotes worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all, which this year’s theme focused on the need to ‘Change the future of migration; Invest in food security and rural development’.

The AfDB’s ENABLE Youth programme, which grooming a crop of young agriculturists, is on course to make this happen.

Mahmud Johnson, 26, is the Founder of J-Palm Liberia which works to improve income for Liberia’s smallholder oil palm farmers by 50-80 per cent. He is also creating additional jobs for over 1,000 young people to work as sales representatives for his products.

“Despite the tremendous odds, we (African youth) are determined to maximize our abundant agricultural resources to create wealth, jobs, and socioeconomic opportunities in our countries and across the continent. We need our stakeholders to view us as serious partners in Africa’s transformation, and to work with us to expand our enterprises,” Mahmud said.

Mahmud and some of his employees have benefited from capacity building programs under the AfDB’s Empowering Novel Agri-Business-Led Employment for Youth initiative.

Like Mahmud, many African youth are passionate about staying back on the continent to create wealth and employment, if given the tools and opportunities to put their skills to use. Under the ENABLE Youth program, the Bank is working with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to develop a new generation of young commercial farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs.

“Our goal is to develop 10,000 such young agricultural entrepreneurs per country in the next 10 years. In 2016, the Bank provided US $700 million to support this program in eight countries and we've got requests now from 33 countries,” said Adesina.


The Bank considers investment in agriculture as key to making Africa youths prosperous, thereby stemming the tide of migration.

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Monday, June 12, 2017

World leaders unite for Polio one-step closer to eradication, raise $1.2bn

World health leaders gathered at the Rotary Convention in Atlanta to reaffirm their commitment to eradicating polio and pledged US$ 1.2 billion to finance efforts to end the disease, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Thirty years ago, NaijaAgroNet recalls, polio paralyzed more than 350,000 children each year in more than 125 countries around the world. But thanks to the extraordinary efforts of governments, health workers, donors and the partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), a public-private partnership dedicated to ending the disease, the highly contagious virus has now been eliminated in all but three countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. There have been only five cases to date in 2017.

However, children remain at risk everywhere until polio is completely stopped. To end the disease for good, government representatives and partners came together to renew their commitment to supporting crucial activities such as vaccination and disease monitoring, which will protect more than 450 million children from polio each year.

“Thanks to the incredible efforts of Rotarians, governments, health workers, partners and donors –  including those who have gathered at the Rotary Convention in Atlanta – we are closer than ever to making history,” said Chris Elias, Global Development President, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Chair of the GPEI Polio Oversight Board. “These new commitments will help ensure that we will finish the job.”

In a time of many global challenges and priorities, governments and partners have stepped forward to demonstrate their collective resolve to seeing the second human disease ever eradicated. Major pledges include: US$ 75 million from Canada, US$ 61.4 million from the European Commission, US$ 55 million from Japan, US$ 30 million from Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, US$ 30 million from the Dalio Foundation, US$ 25 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies, US$ 15 million from an anonymous donor, US$ 13.4 million from Australia, US$ 11.2 million from Germany, US$ 5 million from easyJet, US$ 5 million from Italy and US$ 4 million from the Republic of Korea.

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and John Germ, president of Rotary International, also announced an extension of their partnership in front of more than 20,000 Rotarians. Up to US$ 150 million in funds raised by Rotary members over the next three years will be matched 2:1 by the Gates Foundation, resulting in up to US$ 450 million in the next three years for the GPEI. The Gates Foundation pledged a total of US$ 450 million, including this matching agreement.

“The global eradication of polio has been Rotary’s top priority since 1985. Rotary members have been the driving force behind the fight to end polio since its inception,” said John Germ, President of Rotary International. “Their continued commitment to raising funds for eradication – coupled with today’s match by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – makes that impact even greater.”

Today’s funding helps address a US$1.5 billion funding need that will help ensure that the virus is eliminated from these remaining countries and prevented from regaining a foothold anywhere else in the world.


“Constant innovation has been key to improving vaccination coverage and reaching more children with the polio vaccine,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, Acting Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The unrelenting commitment and support of these global leaders will help us do just that—and ultimately end this disease for everyone and forever. CDC remains deeply committed to polio eradication and has contributed US$ 2.28 billion since the beginning of the initiative."

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Emulate President Jammeh, Gambian farmers tasks African leaders



The President of the National Farmers Platform of The Gambia (NFPG), Alagie Bassi Mboge has charged African leaders to emulate President Yahya  Jammeh's footstep in boosting agricultural production and productivity, reports NaijaAgroNet .

Mboge made this call in an interview with news men in The Gambia, saying that the ongoing presidential tour to meet with farmers across the country is a clear demonstration that President Jammeh is taking the lead to ensuring that decades of importation of rice become a thing of the past in the country.

He described Jammeh as a president with a difference whose ambition is to ensure that not only The Gambia becomes food self-sufficient, but also the whole of Africa.

Mr. Mboge also commended the President for the laudable initiative of meeting farmers, and discussing with them the way forward in addressing some of their key concerns regarding the attainment of Vision 2016, NaijaAgroNet learnt.

Cyriacus Nnaji/ GEE

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Friday, November 1, 2013

54m kids under 5-yrs in Africa go hungry-AUC




The African Union Commission (AUC) has said that over 54 million kids in Africa under the age of five years go hungry and urged leaders in Africa  to work together to tackle malnutrition and under-development on the continent, NaijaAgroNet reports.

The AUC made this disclosure as the African leaders, agriculture and nutrition experts from the private and public sector marked this year’s Africa Food and Nutrition Security Day in Niamey, Niger, to tackle malnutrition and under-development on the continent.

The AUC Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, H.E Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, said “The African Union Commission accords special importance to this year’s day as a prelude to 2014 the AU declared Year of Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Security and also marking the 10th anniversary of the comprehensive Africa agriculture development programme. 

Peace said that the day remains an opportunity for all AU member states, governments and partners to heighten awareness and reinforce commitment to accelerating the collective efforts towards a food and nutrition secure Africa, while the Africa Agenda 2063 will be considered for adoption by AU heads of state and government at their summit to be held in January next year.

The Chief Executive Officer of the
New Partnership for Africa’s Development Agency, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, said “Proven solutions for food and nutrition security challenges already exist and needed to be replicated. The era of pilot projects is long gone and it is now time to take action.  The private sector is a valuable partner in the fight against malnutrition whereas civil society remains our most important voice of conscience”.

AN/GEE


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