YOKOHAMA–The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed an announcement by the Government of Japan to expand its partnership with WFP to jointly scale up nutrition efforts in Africa particularly targeting at–risk mothers and children. As part of this expanded partnership, a joint pilot project on nutrition will be launched by March 2014.
On the first day of her visit to Japan to attend the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development, WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin met with Japan’s Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Toshiko Abe, and reconfirmed the importance of adequate nutrition for mothers and young children which has been increasingly recognized by the international community.
“We are truly grateful for Japan’s leadership in partnering to tackle the issue of under-nutrition. Children can reach their adult potential only if they receive proper nutrition in the first 1,000 days of life. An investment in nutrition today builds the bodies and minds of the next generation, and a crucial foundation for African development in a long run,” said Cousin.
An estimated 165 million children suffer from stunting globally. In sub-Saharan Africa, 40 per cent of children under 5 years of age are stunted. Stunting is caused mainly by inadequate nutrition, especially in the first 1,000 days after conception which can adversely affect a child’s physical and cognitive development, the effects of which are irreversible. Adequate nutrition is therefore essential in nurturing the next generation.
For more information please contact (email address: email@example.com):
Yuko Yasuda, WFP/Tokyo, Mob. Tel. +81 3 5766 5364, Mob.+ 81 90 9844 9990