24 November 2017

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Food Insecurity, Malnutrition Major Challenge, Dr. Abdullah

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdulllah addressing a ceremony marking the World Food Day and launching of the Afghanistan Food Security and Nutrition Agenda (AFSeN) in Kabul said that at the moment thirty-three percent of the population faces food insecurity and six hundred thousand children suffer from acute malnutrition. He also emphasized on solution to the problem.
Dr. Abdullah added that providing all Afghans access to adequate food and promoting better diet for women and children was one of the biggest goals of the Agenda.
“We had policies, we had methods, we worked on different strategies at different times, but the need for their coherence was felt and understood. Hence, our responsibility to ensure the safety of food was linked to various ministries and institutions. We came to the conclusion that we need to establish the National Food and Nutrition Agenda (AFSeN),” said the Chief Executive.
Addressing the ceremony Minister of Public Health Ferozudding Feroz said that from the time of birth to the age of two, was the most important time to reach a child’s life, if nutrition was right from conception till that age, adding diseases were eliminated among children.
“This is essential so as to make sure malnutrition becomes something of the past for all women, men and their families and I am confident that by bringing the different sectors at government level and different departments together and making them work together you will create, reproduce very good results in putting in place a range of policies and programs to improve nutrition,” said Gerda Verburg, United Nations assistant secretary general and coordinator of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement. Meanwhile the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation said there is the need for more investment in the agricultural sector in the country in order to combat malnutrition and poverty. “Food insecurity in Afghanistan is increasing, statistics show that the lack of food safety in 2011 and 2012 was more than 30 percent but this figure has risen to 33 percent in the year 2014,” said Nasir Ahmad Durani acting minister of agriculture, irrigation and livestock.
At the end of the meeting, government agencies and representatives from countries and organizations that have backed AFSeN committed to engaging in these initiatives.
“I preach on behalf of Afghanistan, on behalf of FAO, support commitment of my organization to promote Afghanistan food security and nutrition agenda,” said Tomio Shichiri, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) representative in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile Afghanistan became the sixtieth country to receive the membership of the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement. The committee on malnutrition and food security was also established with Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah on the chair.

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