Compact2025 continues to gain momentum—read more in the second Compact2025 newsflash.
Gaining Momentum: Roundtable Discussions in focal countries
Roundtable discussions on how to end hunger and undernutrition by 2025 have taken place in focal countries—Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Rwanda. The last is set for Malawi on May 26. The discussions bring together key stakeholders from relevant sectors in each country to identify the critical challenges in accelerating progress to end hunger and undernutrition, and establish an action plan for how to address these challenges.
The need for swift advances against hunger and undernutrition is clear. Despite progress, Bangladesh still houses around 28 million food insecure people. In Malawi, 3.6 million, or 21 percent of the population, suffer from hunger. And undernutrition persists—in Rwanda and Ethiopia, 38 percent of children under five are stunted. The costs of hunger and undernutrition reduce GDP by 10-16 percent in Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Malawi. Given the current situation in these countries and the need for greater progress, the roundtable discussions are especially timely.
Attending the roundtables were high-level representatives from government. Key actors from civil society, the private sector, development partner organizations, and research institutions also participated in the lively discussions, which focused on topics tailored to each country. In all countries, there was an urgent call for data, knowledge, and evidence-based guidance to accelerate the progress.
Another common theme emerging from the discussions was coordination. Progress is hampered by a lack of coordination across sectors and actors within the food security and nutrition landscape. Participants emphasized that many actors continue to work in silos and strategies, policies, and programs do not fully exploit potential synergies. Convening these multi-stakeholder roundtable discussions is a first step for Compact2025 to help make way for intensified action and accelerated progress.
Meeting synopses, scoping studies on challenges and opportunities in each country, and presentations on the current food security and nutrition situation in each country are now available on the website.
We welcome new members to the Leadership Council: Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia, who offered a ringing endorsement of Compact2025 at the Ethiopia roundtable discussion, and Gerda Verburg, incoming Coordinator of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement.
Download: Compact2025 Newsflash: No. 2
Photo credit: Doreen Umutesi, The New Times Rwanda