The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) has organised a national learning event to create a platform for a national dialogue on how to achieve sustainable nutrition impact for Ghana through enhanced multi-sectoral coordination.
The event, organized in collaboration with USAID Advancing Nutrition Ghana and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other partners, sought to outline pragmatic measures in addressing Food and Nutrition Security (FNS).
It was on the theme: “Achieving Sustained Nutrition Impact- Strengthening Multi-Sectoral Food and Nutrition Security Coordination.”
The meeting aims to share findings of landscape analysis and stakeholder mapping exercises on multi-sectoral FNS coordination at all levels of the country.
It would also help present the FNS Planning Toolkit, share experience and lessons from other countries on strengthening multi-sectoral food and nutrition security coordination, leadership, and governance strategies, processes, mechanisms, and barrier.
The objective is to facilitate dialogue and build consensus towards developing a roadmap for strengthening multi-sectoral food and nutrition security coordination and collaboration at the national and sub-national levels.
Dr Kodjo Mensah-Abrampa, the Director-General, NDPC, speaking at the event, said the FNS situation in Sub-Saharan Africa was dire with serious consequences for public health and sustainable development.
He said Ghana, in particular, was vulnerable to FNS shocks, adding “this is evident in the volume of food imports and the lack of adequate food processing and storage capacity.”
In addition, the country is faced with the double burden of malnutrition with inadequate investments in Food and Nutrition Security, without which the World Health Organization (WHO) targets on malnutrition would not be achieved, he stated.
“Although the NDPC Act, 1994, (Act 479) and Planning Systems Act, 1994, ( Act 480), LI 1994 sets out both the National Decentralised Planning System and its coordination structures, several factors continue to undermine coordination and effective plan implementation.”
“It is for this reason that NDPC has set its sights on strengthening: plan preparation, implementation and coordination, monitoring and evaluation systems, production and utilization of statistics, improving resource mobilization and effective management of its utilization at all levels and enhance knowledge management and learning implementation coordination in the next medium-term development policy framework (2022-2025),” Dr Mensah-Abrampa stated.
Ms Anne-Claire Dufay, UNICEF Representative, Ghana, said there was the need to collaborate to scale up the nutrition of the country.
She said nutrition combined with stimulation would lead to the desired outcome thus urged stakeholders to take concrete steps to address the issue.
Dr Francis Chisaka Kasolo, the World Health Organization Country Representative, said nutrition was a cross-cutting priority and commended the NDPC for the event to address the fundamental public health issue.