The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations and the West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO) have signed a partnership agreement to support common visions of health development, food, nutrition and biodiversity.
The agreement was signed on the sidelines of a five-day Forum on Public Private Partnership in health for the ECOWAS region, which is underway in Accra.
The agreement is to promote health and nutrition education for improved lifestyles, good dietary behaviour, including appropriate energy intake, adequate consumption of fruits and vegetables, avoiding tobacco and harmful use of alcohol, as well as physical activity and regular medical check-up across the life course.
The agreement would also enhance operational research aimed at reducing the incidence and Non-Communicable Diseases related to morbidity.
Dr Xavier Crespin, Director General, signed the agreement for WAHO while Mr Bukar Tijani, Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, signed for FAO.
Mr Tijani said the cooperation agreement would define the modalities of collaboration between WAHO and FAO for the implementation of joint activities related to health under ‘One Health approach’, food and nutrition security issues, particularly those regional in nature, in order to substantially improve the health and wellbeing of the population of the ECOWAS region.
Mr Tijani said the Agreement comes into force on the date of signature and shall remain valid for a period of five years.
He said in 2011 the WAHO and the FAO signed a Memorandum of Understanding, and the 2012 partnership framework also provided for the common vision of both institutions as regards to health development, food, nutrition and biodiversity.
Mr Tijani said the two parties had the common objective to pool their respective expertise and resources, in the framework of the agreement and to undertake the implementation of joint actions in health, food and advocate improved food composition and preparation methods of local foods.
Mr Tijani said the FAO had three main goals of the eradicating hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition as well as poverty.
Dr Crespin said both parties have registered their resolve to accelerate the progress of the agreement to achieve food and nutrition security, using local food systems of the West African region through programme implementation and research.
“It is our expectation that the partnership would tackle problems pertaining to public health, animal health and the environment in West Africa through the “One Health approach,” he added.