Implementation of the outcome of the delocalized meeting in Guinea Bissau may suffer serious setbacks due to other challenges peculiar to member states, ECOWAS Parliament has said.

It, however, observed that a strong declaration, with strong political support, could save the lives of millions of people in the sub-region.

The Speaker, ECOWAS Parliament, Rt. Hon. Sidie Mohamed Tunis said this while delivering his closing remarks at the meeting of the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Environment, Water Recourses and Sustainable Development/Industry and Private Sector/Health/Energy and Mines/Social Affairs, Gender, and Women Empowerment, held in Guinea Bissau.

He said due to the topical nature of the theme, as well as its importance to the well-being of our people, the meeting had by every standard been educative, inspiring and enriching.

“Permit me to observe that we are likely to face many challenges in implementing the commitments we have made, as some of our countries are in severe economic crisis and some are still focused on tackling other pressing challenges.

“Nevertheless, with a concerted effort, we can succeed in our battle against declining food supply and demand, malnutrition, decreased immunity, as well as exposure to COVID-19 and other diseases.

“I wish to use this medium to state that ECOWAS Parliament stands prepared to follow up on the recommendations emanating from these discussions.

“In addition, the Parliament pledges to support the ECOWAS Commission and other institutions in ways that guarantee essential healthcare services, facilitate cross border activities, as well as the allocation of resources to fund efforts that are geared towards food security and agricultural development across the region.

“I wish to appeal that we all stay committed and work for the prospect that one day our region will be healthy and attain total food security.

“I also hope that we will work actively to ensure that the outcome document from this meeting, which emphasizes essential healthcare services and food security as key areas for accelerated action, will be implemented to the latter.”

He also assured the gathering that he is committed to paying additional attention on healthcare during his tenure as speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament.

To this end, he pledged to rally an unprecedented political commitment for investment in healthcare, aimed at changing the lives of millions of people, saying “It is time to make it happen and we can. I believe it will happen.”