Posted: Thursday 13th June 2013 at 4:59 am

Kufuor Co-Chairs Global Panel to fight hunger

Former President JA KufuorFormer President JA KufuorFormer President J.A. Kufuor has been appointed co-Chair of the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition. 

His co-Chair is Prof. Sir John Beddington, former UK Chief Scientific Officer.

The Global Panel is a UK government initiative which will review research findings and provide global leadership for investments and policies in agriculture that support nutrition and help to eradicate hunger

One hundred and sixty-five million children alive today will have their future jeopardised due to the lack of adequate food.

Providing better nutrition to mothers and infants in the first 1,000 days gives these children a better start in life.

The benefits of interventions that directly tackle nutrition are well documented, but broader measures are urgently needed to address the global burden of malnutrition and under-five mortality.

Following the launch in London on June 7, 2013, former President Kufuor had this to say: 

‘We need a concerted global effort to eradicate hunger and we need it now. No child should have its potential wasted due to the lack of food.’

Agriculture is critical for improving livelihoods and tackling food and nutrition security.  It plays a key role in producing nutritious food and making them available to consumers through the food value chain, resulting in better nutritional outcomes. It is also an important source of income for farmers and farm workers and enables them to provide their families with better and quality nutrition. 

Prof. Sir Beddington,  said: 

‘There is a complex interaction between agriculture, food systems and human health which we do not understand well. Clearly, research is needed; but such research needs to be clearly focused to ensure that its results are beneficial and transparent in its implications for policy.’

To gather and examine existing and emerging evidence on agriculture for improved nutrition, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) has launched the Global Panel, an independent group of influential experts who will gather and examine the evidence and provide leadership to the international community in developing global and country-level policies to tackle hunger and malnutrition.  

Other members of the Panel include Hon. Dr Akin Adesina, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria; Jose Graziano de Silva, Director-General at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO);  Dr Mahabub Hossain, Executive Director of BRAC; Jane Karuku, President of the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA); Rachel Kyte, World Bank Vice-President and Chair of the CGIAR Fund Council; Mauricio Antonio Lopez, President of Embrapa, the Brazilian Enterprise for Agricultural Research; Professor Srinath Reddy, President of Public Health Foundation of India;  and Hon. Rhoda Peace Tumisiime, Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development at the African Union. 

The Global Panel will be supported by the London International Development Centre (LIDC), a consortium of five Bloomsbury Colleges of the University of London that will provide expert advice to the panel and host its secretariat.  

Present at the launch were several influential personalities, including Mr Bill Gates, co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Ms Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development, United Kingdom.


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