Côte d’Ivoire launches the first national SUN Youth Network for Nutrition – Côte d’Ivoire

Abidjan, May 5, 2022 – The Vice President of Côte d’Ivoire, HE Tiémoko Meyliet Koné, today officially launched the National Youth Network for Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN), making Côte d’Ivoire Ivoire the first country with an official SUN youth network.

The country’s new SUN Youth Network brings together 37 youth organisations, with a total membership of 5,000 young people, working on nutrition, food and sustainable development. It is headed by its President, Mr. Ange Yothio, and its mission is to implement advocacy activities to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the areas of hunger and malnutrition.

While other youth networks exist within the SUN Movement in countries such as Cambodia, Peru, the Philippines and Zambia, among others, the National SUN Youth Network of Côte d’Ivoire is the first SUN network national official for young people – paving the way for the establishment of others in SUN countries.

The launch event, hosted by Vice-President Koné, brought together 12 ministers; Ms. Gerda Verburg, UN Under-Secretary-General and SUN Movement Coordinator; heads of United Nations agencies; youth organisations, as well as civil society and private sector partners.

Addressing the young leaders at the event, Ms Verburg said: “Adolescence is a critical time for health development – ​​without access to good nutrition, you will suffer setbacks in your health, educational abilities , your future work and your incoming production capacity. And your community and country will also feel the impacts as stunted youth create a stunted economy, which will stunt the development of the country. But you, the young people of this country, have the power and the capacity to bring about change – and to be part of that change. In fact, we need you to be part of this change. We can’t do it without you.

Mr. Mamadou Touré, Minister for the Promotion of Youth, Professional Integration and Civic Service, also emphasized the involvement of young people in the development of social inclusion and development policies as a key for the future of Côte d’Ivoire.

Reaffirming his support for the SUN Youth Network, Mr Touré said: “I would like to congratulate the leaders of this new network for the commitment you have just made and invite you all to rally as many youth organizations as possible. youth to this cause. ”

This is not the first time that the country has set an example. Côte d’Ivoire joined the SUN Movement nine years ago, and since 2013 the country has made great strides towards achieving its nutrition goals, as Vice President Koné highlighted at the event. launch. This includes reducing the country’s prevalence of chronic malnutrition from 29.8% to 21.6% in four years. The country is also a leader at the level of the African continent, as demonstrated by the President of Côte d’Ivoire, HE Alassane Dramane Ouattara, in his proposal of “nutrition” as the theme of the African Union for 2022, which was endorsed at the 2022 African Union Heads of State Summit.

The country’s vice president, prime minister and several ministers have also scheduled high-level meetings with Ms. Verburg during her official mission to Côte d’Ivoire, demonstrating the government’s strong commitment to bringing nutrition to all people in the country. country. In addition, Ms. Verburg had the opportunity to witness the strong engagement of SUN country networks and their members representing UN agencies, civil society, the private sector and the donor community, during meetings with these valuable stakeholders.

This multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder commitment to nutrition by Côte d’Ivoire has reinforced the important role it plays as a champion of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

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