By Sharon Atieno

The Pan African Parliament (PAP) has endorsed the African Union (AU) theme for 2022 which calls for strengthening nutritional resilience and food security on the continent.

In a communique adopted during a PAP workshop in Midrand, South Africa, parliamentarians urged governments and all partners to translate commitments into results, noting that the AU theme is crucial to maintaining political momentum and accelerating action towards improved coordination, implementation capacity and accountability for nutrition across the continent.

They called on Members States to develop strong, prioritized country strategies to fight hunger and malnutrition in all its forms in the continent.

Drawing attention to the Africa Day of Food and Nutrition Security (ADFNS) on 30 October, the Parliamentarians urged all Member States, national parliaments, and all relevant stakeholders to celebrate the Day with the aim to provide a platform for stakeholder dialogue on solutions for addressing food and nutrition security issues while strengthening the momentum towards achieving sustainable development goals and Malabo Declaration seven key commitments.

Additionally, they called on the AU Commission and all partners to mobilize political commitment of AU member states to recommit to Home Grown School Feeding programme and to engage private sector to invest more on the programme and reach those out to the vulnerable communities to access at least one healthy meal per day in school through initiatives such as the global school meals coalition and healthy diets coalition.

Further, the PAP members called on the World Food Programme, the AU Commission, African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) and partners to expedite the development of an analytical and participatory tool to estimate the social and economic impacts of food insecurity and malnutrition on the health, education and labor sectors, which will provide governments and partners with key actionable and time-bound recommendations and investment priorities for national human capital development goals.

The workshop was organized jointly by the AU Commission (AUC), AUDA-NEPAD and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with the objective of sensitizing and updating African parliamentarians on the AU Theme of the Year, the AUDA-NEPAD Nutrition and Food Systems Strategy, and their contribution towards their achievement.