Andrew Mitchell (Secretary of State, International Development; Sutton Coldfield, Conservative)
The coalition Government have dedicated significant extra resources to improve nutrition in Africa, under our strategy to tackle under-nutrition in developing countries. My Department is working closely with the United States, European Commission, Ireland and Canada to support the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement, which has secured the commitment of 20 African countries. In addition to direct aid on nutrition such as providing 700,000 Zambian children with micro nutrient powders, we are supporting partner governments in Africa to strengthen their approaches. We are also co-ordinating other donors behind national strategies. For example, in Zambia the UK is working with other donors such as Irish Aid to support the national programme, and in Nigeria the UK is taking on the role of donor convenor for nutrition. We are also working with other G8 and G20 members to improve the global food system, especially in tackling the impact of price volatility, and with donors such as the Gates Foundation and the World Health Organisation to ensure that evidence gaps are filled.
To help avoid the cycle of food crises in Africa, the UK is playing a leading role in an international effort to effort to reduce countries' and communities' resilience to shocks. At times of particular need such as the Horn and Sahel food crises, I press donor governments and multilateral organisations for a more timely and proportionate response. I have had regular discussions with my counterparts in the United States and European governments, including on preventing and treating acute malnutrition.