WE, the Ministers of State and Government of African countries, Members of African Parliaments, Representatives of the Private Sector, and Heads of International Organizations gathered during a High- Level Dialogue on Nutrition Financing hosted by His Excellency, Letsie III, King of Lesotho in Maseru, Lesotho on 23-24 March 2023.
Recalling the previous and existing decisions, declarations and continental strategies, related to nutrition including, inter alia:
- The Assembly decision [(Assembly/AU/Dec. 813(XXXV)] adopted in 2022, which declared 2022 “the Year of Nutrition and Food Security” and the Abidjan Declaration “Accelerate investment, implementation and coordination to improve nutrition and food security in Africa”;
- The Malabo Declaration (Assembly/AU/ /Decl.1(XXIII), which among other issues uphold the 10% public spending target in financing agriculture and commit to ending hunger and all its forms by 2025;
- The Abuja Declaration, where Heads of States and Government of African Union pledged to set a target of allocating at least 15% of their annual budget to improve the health sector;
- The Executive Council Decision (EX.CL/1367 (XLI), calling on Member States to prioritize increased domestic financial investment in food and nutrition security while promoting investments in multi-sectoral programming and calling for development and adoption of a multisectoral policy framework and a nutrition investment target that will guarantee domestic resource allocation for nutrition programming;
- The African Regional Nutrition Strategy (ARNS) 2015 – 2016, which aims to guide member states on nutrition policies and programmes (EX.CL/Dec.876(XXVII).
Acknowledging that investing in nutrition is one of the most cost-effective means to accelerate and sustain socioeconomic development and prosperity. Evidence shows that every 1 USD invested in high impact nutrition interventions can generate 16 USD in returns, while child undernutrition in Africa for example, is causing countries in the continent an economic loss estimated between 1.9% to 16.5% of Gross Development Product (GDP).
Concerned that malnutrition remains one of the major obstacles to human well-being and economic prosperity in Africa. The African continent is still battling with fighting high levels of hunger and malnutrition.
Also concerned that the current investments in nutrition in Africa are not comparable to the scale of the nutrition problem.
Recognizing the urgency of adequate financing to ending hunger and malnutrition in all its forms as a prerequisite for achieving Africa Union Agenda 2063 objectives and Sustainable Development Goals.
RESOLVE AND COMMIT:
- To prioritize investment in nutrition to accelerate Africa economic transformation and attainment of agenda 2063 objectives
- To build the capacity of the of the African Union Member States to fill the investment gap with their domestic resources; and adopt and advocate for innovative financing strategies for nutrition such as sugar and fat taxation among others
- The private sector to leverage capital sources and funding routes to complement government efforts in filling the funding gaps for nutrition
- To promote governments and private sector dialogues and partnership that aim at realigning national economic priorities with public health imperatives such as the promotion of healthy diets and sustainable food chains and the shaping of consumer choice for healthy diets
- Strengthen parliamentarians leading and strategic role in adopting and enforcing the right legislation, allocating appropriate domestic resources with respect to commitments made, and supporting accountability mechanisms at national level
- To strengthen parliamentary engagement for healthy diets and support them with tools and model laws to be better gate keepers of nutrition and healthy diets at country level
- Support the implementation of the Abidjan Declaration action and popularize it at all AU policy organs including, Pan African Parliament and all the relevant specialized technical committees to advocate for multisectoral investments