EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica and ONE Youth Ambassadors stood side by side in the kitchen, learning to cook a nutritious meal. This unconventional meeting highlighted the importance of nutrition, especially in the poorest countries, and what the EU can do to fight hunger and malnutrition. This origianl Rendez-vous took place in Brussels on Thursday July 14th.
Under-nutrition is a hidden human tragedy: It is not visible and is often poorly recognised, but 3 million children die from it every year. That's why it's great to see so many Youth Ambassadors involved in this initiative – young people have a vital role to play in helping to raise awareness of the importance of a nutritious, balanced diet, in our partner countries.
Commissioner Mimica alongside 20 ONE Youth Ambassadors – young activists who campaign to end extreme poverty – learned from an experienced chef at the cooking school Mmmmh! in Brussels how to prepare 2 African-inspired nutritious dishes.
The meals were made with ingredients produced and available across many developing countries like the sweet potato: full of essential nutrients, very high in vitamin A, and a powerful source of energy against poor nutrition. These dishes helped illustrate the possibilities for and importance of a balanced and nutritious diet.
Malnutrition is linked to nearly half of child deaths under 5 years old. I find that outrageous, and today we had the great opportunity to share ideas and solutions with EU Commissioner Mimica. We agreed that many of these deaths can be prevented by improving basic nutrition in the poorest countries. This means the EU and other governments must urgently step up funding to nutrition-specific programmes.
Photo Credits: The One Campaign