‘Adesina, Muhtar, Nwuneli’— UN appoints Nigerians among leaders to fight malnutrition



The United Nations (UN) has appointed Akinwunmi Adesina, Mansur Muhtar and Ndidi Nwuneli, among global leaders to spearhead the fight against malnutrition.


Adesina is a former minister of agriculture in Nigeria and president of the African Development Bank; Muhtar is vice president of Islamic Development Bank and Nwuneli is executive chair, Sahel Consulting Agriculture & Nutrition.


The trio are among 22 global leaders appointed under the scaling up nutrition (SUN) movement, and will work towards improving global food security.


According to the UN, some three billion people – almost half of all humanity – cannot afford a healthy diet, while two-thirds of children lack the diverse diets they need to thrive.


António Guterres, UN secretary general, said the appointment of the leaders was timely as malnutrition is fast becoming a global crisis.


“I believe that the approach of the SUN movement to tackle malnutrition through a country-owned multi-sectoral and multistakeholder approach is more crucial than ever before,” he said.


“These global leaders are championing country-led efforts to scale up nutrition and to deliver for girls, boys and their families a world free from malnutrition by 2030.”


The SUN movement is dedicated to nutrition action and collaboration, including helping countries to implement policies towards a systemic approach that provides access to a healthy diet.


Members of the movement include representatives from 65 countries, four Indian states, over 4,000 civil society organisations and 1,400 businesses (including small and medium enterprises), 16 UN agencies, international finance institutions, donor governments, and philanthropies funding nutrition.


Here is a full list of the appointed global leaders:


Nigeria – Akinwumi Adesina, president, African Development Bank.


United Arab Emirates – Mariam Amheiri, Minister of climate change and environment.


Sweden – Inger Ashing, CEO, Save the Children International.


Philippines – Cherrie Atilano, CEO and president, AGREA Agricultural Systems International, Inc.


United States – Cindy McCain, executive director, World Food Programme.


Cameroon – Martin Chungong, secretary-general, Inter- Parliamentary Union.


Barbados – Pierre Cooke Jr., prime minister, Barbados youth parliament and technical advisor, Healthy Caribbean Coalition, Barbados.


Angola – Josefa Leonel, CORREIA SACKO, commissioner, agriculture, rural development, blue economy and sustainable environment, African Union Commission.


El Salvador – Gabriela de Bukele, first lady, presidency.


Kenya – Githinji Gitahi, CEO, AMREF Health Africa.


Ireland – Sophie Healy-thow, global youth campaigns coordinator, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition.


Nigeria – Mansur Muhtar, vice-president, Islamic Development Bank.


United Kingdom – David Nabarro, strategic director, 4SD, special envoy of WHO DG on COVID19, co-lead, UN global crisis response group foodstream.


Pakistan – Sania Nishtar, member of senate and president of Heartfile NGO.


Nigeria – Ndidi Nwuneli, executive chair, Sahel Consulting Agriculture & Nutrition.


Mexico – Alfredo Rimoch, CEO, Laboratorios Liomont.


US – Catherine Russell, executive director, UNICEF.


Canada – Harjit Sajjan, minister of international development & minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada.


Netherlands – Feike Sijbesma, honorary chairman of Royal DSM.


Norway – Gunhlid Stordalen, founder and president, EAT Foundation.


Colombia – Juan Pablo Uribe, global director for health nutrition and population & director of the Global Financing Facility for women, children and adolescents (GFF), World Bank.


Finland – Jutta Urpilainen, commissioner for international partnerships, European Commission.

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