African leaders call for action to end malnutrition by 2025

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African countries have made progress toward eradicating malnutrition and stunting but need to do more to hit United Nations malnutrition targets by 2025. This was the main message of a meeting that took place during the 33rd African Union Summit.
Speakers at a meeting of the African Leaders for Nutrition (ALN) included the heads of state of Madagascar, Cote d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone, national ministers of health as well as African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina, head of the African Development Bank.
Leaders acknowledged the scope of the challenge but sounded a note of optimism. “We can conquer hunger in Africa,” said Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina, one of five African Leaders for Nutrition champions. “I call on all our partners to continue to work with us to address hunger and malnutrition.”
Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara said leaders should take it a step further. “I have proposed for the AU to focus on tackling malnutrition as a theme for 2021,” he said.
Stunting has declined by eight percentage points across Africa since 2000, an advance on one of the UN’s 2025 targets. African countries have also shown strong progress toward achieving the target of 50% of the world’s children being exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. The other targets are: halting the epidemic of obesity; reducing anemia in women of reproductive age; reducing low birth weight and reducing wasting.