July 3, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
National Coordinator of the Scaling-Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement in the Office of the Vice President yesterday stressed the importance of including nutrition security in the country’s development agenda.
Speaking during the launch of the National Food and Nutrition Security Implementation Plan at Radisson Blu Hotel in Freetown, Dr. Mohamed Foh noted that children are the most vulnerable victims of under-malnutrition.
While recognizing the significant progress made by Sierra Leone in reducing malnutrition and the high political will and commitment from the government, Dr. Foh reckoned that malnutrition perpetuates a cycle of poverty.
He described the National Food and Nutrition Security Implementation Plan as a generic document of activities (2013-2017) that was developed by multiple stakeholders, and that the SUN Movement was officially launched in October 2012 after Sierra Leone became a member.
“The overall target of the plan is to increase food production, food consumption score and reduce malnutrition rate among women, infants and young children,” he stated and added that the plan has eight interventions/priorities.
On behalf of the United Nations family, Country Representative of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Gabriel Rugalema, commended those that contributed to the development of the plan but stressed that “the plan is only the first in addressing food and nutrition insecurity” in the country.
He pledged the United Nations family’s commitment to continue working with Sierra Leone to ensure its successful implementation, noting: “We will not rest until everyone in Sierra Leone goes to bed well fed.”
Officially launching the document, Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh stated that the country’s membership in the Global Scaling Up Nutrition Movement in the past two years has witnessed considerable gains and that the SUN Movement plans were well underway until last year when “Ebola struck with its horrible toll on all facets of society, especially the health sector”.
“This plan will guide us in achieving the targets we have set for ourselves in attaining food and nutrition security, and building a healthy nation,” said Mr. Foh. “Led by the Office of the Vice President, considerable efforts have been invested into the design of the implementation strategy.”
VP Foh noted that the plan would serve to boost food and nutrition security issues in the national development agenda, especially in the fight against Ebola and other infectious diseases, as well as the post-Ebola recovery phase.