Sierra Leone Parliament Vows to Prioritize Food Security
“Recognizing that food security and nutrition policies and outcomes will only advance if there is sufficient political will, commitment and strong leadership, we as Parliamentarians can play a critical role by adopting relevant legislations, helping to shape or oversee national plant, engaging constituencies at community level, partnering with civil societies and other organizations to hold Government accountable and ensuring that laws and policies are implemented efficiently,” according to a declaration of members of Parliament which was read by the Deputy Chief Whip of Parliament, Madam Zainab K Tarawallie.
About 49.9% of households (3, 186, 187 people) in Sierra Leone are food insecure, i.e., their food consumption score is unacceptable, meaning they consume limited or insufficient food to maintain a healthy and active life, according to the state of food security in Sierra Leone 2015.
“A total of 8.6 percent of households, (608,505 people) can be categorized as severely food insecure, an increase of 6.5% (373, 539 people) from 2010,) the report shows.
Parliament pledges to review existing legal and policy frameworks across different sectors through a lense that is food and nutrition security, support sufficient and appropriate location and disbursement of budget support to food and nutrition security plants and programs, uphold accountability and track compliance to budget allocation, disbursement and expenditure, and monitor progress towards achievement of result for food and nutrition security.
The engagement focus on four main themes: the current status of food and nutrition security in Sierra Leone, the significance of nutrition security for development and economic growth, actions that can be taken to address the situation and how Parliamentarians can leverage their powers to effect legislative, budgetary and policy advances in the promotion of food and nutrition security.
According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of FOCUS 1000, Alhaji Mohamed Jalloh, antenatal care coverage remain abysmal throughout the country, noting that over 805 of pregnant women are not going to the hospital for antenatal care.
He said Pujehun remains the only district with adequate measles immunization coverage.
Mr. Jalloh emphasized the importance of Parliamentarians in ensuring food and nutrition security in the country.
The Chairman for the United Nations Network for Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) in Sierra Leone, Dr. Hamid El-Bashir Ibrahim said the right to food is a fundamental human rights, and that good nutrition is essential to human and economic growth and the development of Sierra Leone.
And good nutrition contribute to poverty reduction, improve human capital and contribute up to 2 to 11 percent increase in Gross Domestic Product and have a significant impact on the social and economic progress of the country,” he said.
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