EU do­nates 9 mil­lion Euro to im­prove food se­cu­rity

East African Business Week - - EDITORIAL - BY DAMAS MAKANGALE

The per­sis­tent lev­els of stunt­ing, wast­ing and mi­cronu­tri­ent de­fe­cien­cies con­sti­tute a si­lent emer­gency.

DAR ES SALAAM, TAN­ZA­NIA - The United Na­tions World Food Pro­gramme (WFP) has re­ceived a con­tri­bu­tion of Euro 9.5 mil­lion from the Euro­pean Union (EU) in sup­port of a Euro 24.5 mil­lion Food Se­cu­rity and Nu­tri­tion Project in cen­tral Tan­za­nia.

The project is de­signed to im­prove food and nu­tri­tion se­cu­rity for 40,000 peo­ple while con­tribut­ing to the re­duc­tion of mal­nu­tri­tion in the tar­geted dis­tricts of Bahi and Chamwino in Dodoma re­gion and Ikungi and Singida Ru­ral in Singida re­gion. The EU con­tri­bu­tion was an­nounced last week dur­ing an of­fi­cial sign­ing cer­e­mony at Umoja House in Dar es Salaam with Dr. Mpok­iUlisubisya, Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary Min­istry of Health, Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment, Gen­der, El­derly and Chil­dren. Michael Dun­ford, WFP Coun­try Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Tan­za­nia, and Roe­land Van De Geer, Head of the Euro­pean Del­e­ga­tion to Tan­za­nia at­tended the event. “De­spite im­prove­ment in many health in­di­ca­tors over the last decade, there has been in­suf­fi­cient progress in im­prov­ing the nu­tri­tional sta­tus of chil­dren and women in Tan­za­nia,” Roe­land Van De Geer, Head of the Euro­pean Del­e­ga­tion to Tan­za­nia, said at the cer­e­mony. “The per­sis­tent lev­els of stunt­ing, wast­ing and mi­cronu­tri­ent de­fi­cien­cies in the coun­try con­sti­tute a si­lent emer­gency. The new high­level po­lit­i­cal com­mit­ment to fight un­der-nu­tri­tion in Tan­za­nia from a multi-sec­toral per­spec­tive is a real game-changer. Through this project the EU to­gether with WFP is well po­si­tioned to de­fine and sup­port the links be­tween agri­cul­ture, health, food se­cu­rity and nu­tri­tion, which have not pre­vi­ously been well ar­tic­u­lated or pur­sued.” The project builds on WFP’S long­stand­ing pres­ence in cen­tral Tan­za­nia and its ex­pe­ri­ence in pro­vid­ing nu­tri­tious food and so­cial be­hav­iour change com­mu­ni­ca­tion through lo­cal health fa­cil­i­ties. These ac­tiv­i­ties will be com­ple­mented by ef­forts in other sec­tors to pro­vide a more holis­tic ap­proach to re­duce stunt­ing in the coun­try. The na­tional level of stunt­ing stands near 34%, with Dodoma at 36.5 % and Singida at 29.2%. “Thanks to this con­tri­bu­tion from the Euro­pean Union, WFP is em­bark­ing on an in­no­va­tive pro­gramme which aims to meet the nu­tri­tion needs of the most vul­ner­a­ble, es­pe­cially chil­dren dur­ing their key growth phase of the first 1,000 days from con­cep­tion to two years,” WFP Coun­try Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Michael Dun­ford said at the cer­e­mony. “This pro­gramme will pro­vide ev­i­dence that will in­form fu­ture ini­tia­tives, and it there­fore car­ries the po­ten­tial to bring about last­ing pos­i­tive change in Tan­za­nia.” In Tan­za­nia, the rate of chronic un­der-nu­tri­tion among chil­dren is driven by poverty, food in­se­cu­rity and in­ad­e­quate in­fant and young child feed­ing. The project will work to im­prove knowl­edge on nu­tri­tion, di­etary di­ver­sity and prac­tices in wa­ter, san­i­ta­tion and hy­giene (WASH). The ac­tiv­i­ties will be boosted by pro­mot­ing the rais­ing of small-scale live­stock, plant­ing di­verse crops and mo­bi­liz­ing vil­lages to start small sav­ings and loan groups, in­creas­ing ac­cess to cap­i­tal. Save the Chil­dren is WFP’S part­ner in strength­en­ing syn­er­gies and ca­pac­i­ties of com­mu­nity- based or­gan­i­sa­tions and com­mu­ni­ties to pro­mote gen­der em­pow­er­ment and multi-sec­tor ap­proaches to nu­tri­tion, as well as co­or­di­nat­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the agri­cul­ture com­po­nent of the project. By co­or­di­nat­ing these ac­tiv­i­ties un­der one um­brella, WFP, the EU and Save the Chil­dren will be ad­dress­ing mul­ti­ple chal­lenges in im­prov­ing food se­cu­rity and nu­tri­tion in Tan­za­nia. The project is part of WFP’S work to­ward achiev­ing Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goal 2: Zero Hunger. In or­der to reach Zero Hunger by 2030, WFP is work­ing with part­ners in­clud­ing gov­ern­ments, the pri­vate sec­tor and civil so­ci­ety. WFP is the world’s largest hu­man­i­tar­ian agency fight­ing hunger world­wide, delivering food as­sis­tance in emer­gen­cies and work­ing with com­mu­ni­ties to im­prove nu­tri­tion and build re­silience. Each year, WFP as­sists some 80 mil­lion peo­ple in around 80 coun­tries.

Mile­nium Goal : Mr. Michael Dun­ford, WFP Coun­try Rep­re­sen­ta­tive (far right) and H.E. Mr. Roe­land Van De Geer (cen­tre), Head of the Euro­pean Del­e­ga­tion in Tan­za­nia, sign the agree­ment.

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