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Friday, January 27, 2023

SUN Stakeholders Hold Validation Workshop

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SUN Stakeholders Hold Validation Workshop

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Declaring the workshop open, SUN National Coordinator in the Office of the Vice President, Dr. Bockarie Foh explained to his large audience yesterday at Hill Valley Hotel, west of Freetown that the SUN since its inception as a unit under the auspices of the Vice President’s Office, has been collaborating with many partners to raise awareness and bring about a positive attitude of all stakeholders towards nutrition issues and its importance in the lives of humans and especially that of children.

He used the opportunity to thank donors and partners including Irish Aid, World Food Programme (WFP), government ministries, United Nations Network (UNN), private sector players, and a list of other important stakeholders.

Present at yesterday’s event were a large number of Members of Parliament, Chief Administrators of various councils across the country, among a galaxy of other important personalities.

Dr. Foh stated further that “We came together for the Final Validation of the Food and Nutrition Security Implementation Plan for Sierra Leone. This is bringing together multiple stakeholders from national to district and all networks from the civil society platform, the media, the United Nations, the donors, the academia; we are all here to discuss the consultant’s presentation and approve areas they deem fit and correct areas needing correction.”

He added that during the preliminary workshops, many ideas as to how food security and nutrition could be achieved were discussed, as well as who or which organization would be responsible for doing what in order for the exercise not to go in vain after all the efforts and sleepless nights sacrificed by the participants to ensure that food security and nutrition matters are not only spoken but that decisive actions are taken to ensure its correct implementation.

Other speakers at the event included the UNICEF Representative to Sierra Leone, Dr. Hamid El-Bashir. He said: “The National Food and Nutrition Security Implementation Plan is a five-year roadmap that will guide all stakeholders in the country in meeting its goal of reducing malnutrition. He went on to say that it is the first implementation plan on food and nutrition security that recognized the importance of addressing malnutrition through a multi-sector approach.

“It acknowledges that the causes of malnutrition are multi-factorial and thus, addressing it requires multi-sectoral effort and collaboration,” he added.

Haja Rukiatu Kamara who represented the Minister of State at the Vice President’s Office, informed her audience that: “The New Direction strongly believes that if we succeed in the fight against hunger and malnutrition, this nation will reduce maternal and infant mortality.”

He went on to say that “our children’s ability to learn will increase, and thus our human resource base as a nation will be strengthened. Against this backdrop, government is demonstrating high political will by establishing the SUN Secretariat in the OVP.”

The climax of the event was the creation of three groups to discuss the various ideas, theories, observations and suggestions in achieving food and nutrition security after which the participants accepted the final draft as the way forward.

Dr. Bockarie Foh, SUN National Coordinator

By Prince C. Kamara

Following a series of earlier consultations and meetings between and among coordinating partners like the World Food Programme, ministries of Agriculture, Health and Sanitation and other line ministries, the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) secretariat concluded its validation workshop yesterday.

The objective of the validation workshop was to review, adjust and approve the new National FNSIP.

Declaring the workshop open, SUN National Coordinator in the Office of the Vice President, Dr. Bockarie Foh explained to his large audience yesterday at Hill Valley Hotel, west of Freetown that the SUN since its inception as a unit under the auspices of the Vice President’s Office, has been collaborating with many partners to raise awareness and bring about a positive attitude of all stakeholders towards nutrition issues and its importance in the lives of humans and especially that of children.

He used the opportunity to thank donors and partners including Irish Aid, World Food Programme (WFP), government ministries, United Nations Network (UNN), private sector players, and a list of other important stakeholders.

Present at yesterday’s event were a large number of Members of Parliament, Chief Administrators of various councils across the country, among a galaxy of other important personalities.

Dr. Foh stated further that “We came together for the Final Validation of the Food and Nutrition Security Implementation Plan for Sierra Leone. This is bringing together multiple stakeholders from national to district and all networks from the civil society platform, the media, the United Nations, the donors, the academia; we are all here to discuss the consultant’s presentation and approve areas they deem fit and correct areas needing correction.”

He added that during the preliminary workshops, many ideas as to how food security and nutrition could be achieved were discussed, as well as who or which organization would be responsible for doing what in order for the exercise not to go in vain after all the efforts and sleepless nights sacrificed by the participants to ensure that food security and nutrition matters are not only spoken but that decisive actions are taken to ensure its correct implementation.

Other speakers at the event included the UNICEF Representative to Sierra Leone, Dr. Hamid El-Bashir. He said: “The National Food and Nutrition Security Implementation Plan is a five-year roadmap that will guide all stakeholders in the country in meeting its goal of reducing malnutrition. He went on to say that it is the first implementation plan on food and nutrition security that recognized the importance of addressing malnutrition through a multi-sector approach.

“It acknowledges that the causes of malnutrition are multi-factorial and thus, addressing it requires multi-sectoral effort and collaboration,” he added.

Haja Rukiatu Kamara who represented the Minister of State at the Vice President’s Office, informed her audience that: “The New Direction strongly believes that if we succeed in the fight against hunger and malnutrition, this nation will reduce maternal and infant mortality.”

He went on to say that “our children’s ability to learn will increase, and thus our human resource base as a nation will be strengthened. Against this backdrop, government is demonstrating high political will by establishing the SUN Secretariat in the OVP.”

The climax of the event was the creation of three groups to discuss the various ideas, theories, observations and suggestions in achieving food and nutrition security after which the participants accepted the final draft as the way forward.

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