By Doh Bertrand Nua
The assessment was made during the second UNICEF Executive Board, that held recently via videoconference with Cameroon’s Minister of Economy Planning and Regional Development, AlamineOusmaneMey, in attendance.
It held under the theme“Maternal and Child Nutrition: Progress made, challenges and opportunities in a changing world”. Cameroon’s Economy minister used the opportunity to inform the world about what government’spast and present strides to improve maternal and child nutrition.
He said government has put in place a project to attend to cases of malnutrition affecting children below five years. OusmanMey said focus ison zones that are worse hit by humanitarian crisis in crisis in the country.
He also used the occasion to discuss a new country-basedprogramme between Cameroon and UNICEF that covers the period 2022-2026.
Cameroon, OusmanMey said, had achieved a reduction in child stunting from 33% in 2011 to 29% in 2018. “While this positive trend is encouraging, new challenges threaten to undermine the progress achieved. Extreme weather events such as frequent flooding and droughts have increasingly affected agricultural production in the northern and eastern regions, worsening food insecurity and undernutrition”.
He added that this situation in these regions is further aggravated by subregional instability leading to massive internal displacement and influx of refugees, of which a large proportion are children.
In the National Development Strategy document, 2020-2030, he said Cameroon has created the Inter-ministerial Committee to Control Malnutrition under the Prime Minister’s Office.
“Key strategies to tackle undernutrition in Cameroon include leveraging decentralisation to strengthen local accountability, in collaboration with civil society organisations. In line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, the Government and United Nations agencies will support the development and implementation of a multi-sectoral action plan for nutrition,” the MINEPAT boss assured.
Hefurther submitted to participants at the conference that|: “I am convinced the Country Programme of Cooperation 2022-2026 betweenCameroon and UNICEF offers an opportunity to strengthen our partnership in favour of the optimal development and wellbeing of every child”.
He expressed Cameroon’s gratitude to UNICEF for the long-standing collaboration and unwavering support the nation has received from the United Nations, UN system to advance children’s agenda.
Meanwhile, the UNICEF had many issues it highlighted during the Board Session, bordering on responding to child undernutrition in a changing world.
These include addressing stunting, wasting and micronutrient deficiencies in a world, which the UNICEF said is living with poverty, climate change, humanitarian crises and the coronavirus pandemic.
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