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UN, Ecobank Start Campaign to Raise Awareness About Chronic Malnutrition

The campaign "Make the Connection” that is happening in all the 33 countries across Africa where Ecobank operates including Uganda aims to raise awareness and money through fundraising drives and targets to support families that have been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
UNITLIFE, the United Nations initiative set up to fight chronic malnutrition through innovation and the Ecobank Group’s Foundation have launched a new campaign to raise awareness and funds to prevent chronic malnutrition in Africa.

The campaign "Make the Connection” that is happening in all the 33 countries across Africa where Ecobank operates including Uganda aims to raise awareness and money through fundraising drives and targets to support families that have been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everywhere in Africa, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a disastrous effect on people’s income and ability to access nutritious foods. The Standing Together for Nutrition Consortium projects that an estimated 1.2 million additional children in Sub-Saharan Africa will be stunted in 2022 compared to 2019 due to interruptions in nutrition services and increased household poverty. We must shine more light on chronic malnutrition in these challenging times”, said Assia Sidibe, Head of UNITLIFE Secretariat in a statement on Wednesday.

Carl Manlan, Chief Operating Officer, Ecobank Foundation said the organization’s role in the new campaign is supporting the communication efforts and bringing the necessary expertise to set-up the fundraising mechanisms which will help Africans help themselves out of hunger through making small contributions.

Currently, the World Health Organization figures show, a third of African children experience chronic malnutrition whereby in 24 African countries chronic malnutrition rates stand above 30%.  In other words, 1 in 3 African children does not eat a diet that meets their nutrient needs during the first 1,000 days of their lives.

As a result, they face life-long consequences affecting their physical growth, cognitive development and immune systems.

Sidibe says this threat can be broken by just $2 per day as this is enough to have access to nutritious food in many places in Africa.

“Make the connection enables everyone to take action against chronic malnutrition. It is about protecting our children’s future, our human capital. In Sub-Saharan Africa, it takes only $2 per day to have access to nutritious food. Pooling our resources for the next generation is painless when we invite more people to micro-donate” she said.

However, the campaign is being launched on February 10th, the World Pulses Day which is a designated United Nations global event to recognize the importance of pulses such as beans and peas as global food and their nutritional benefits.   Worldwide, 144 million children under the age of 5 suffer from chronic malnutrition, the majority are from Africa.

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