The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and the Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS of the Ministry of Health today welcome a timely contribution of EUR 550,000 (about 515 million Malawi Kwacha) from the Government of Ireland to support the interventions to prevent malnutrition in Malawi.
“Four out of 10 children are affected by chronic malnutrition,” said Benoit Thiry, WFP Country Representative in Malawi. “Ireland’s contribution will drive efforts to improve the quality of nutrition services for vulnerable children and women. “
The contribution will be used to promote access to quality health and nutrition services for 30,000 malnourished children, adolescents and women in the Neno district, focusing on maternal, child and child nutrition to reduce stunting and micronutrient deficiencies.
The contribution comes at a time when the country is affected by COVID-19, which threatens efforts to improve nutrition and health in the country.
In addition, the contribution will be used to provide technical support to the Government of Malawi in establishing a National Center of Excellence in Nutrition. The Center will be a national hub for evidence generation, knowledge sharing and information management for nutritional innovation.
“Nutrition is of vital importance throughout a person’s life,” said Seamus O ‘Grady, Ambassador of the Irish Embassy in Malawi. “The Government of Ireland is pleased to renew its commitment to supporting Malawi’s efforts to end malnutrition, especially at the sub-national level (Neno district) and to reach those who are furthest behind, which in this case are women and girls. “.
The Government of Ireland is one of the largest donors to WFP’s nutrition program in Malawi. WFP is working with the Government of Malawi, development partners and communities to improve the nutrition of vulnerable people through the implementation of the National Multisectoral Nutrition Policy.
Good nutrition is essential for the full physical growth of children. In Malawi, malnutrition remains a serious challenge and contributes to preventable child deaths. 37% of Malawian children are affected by stunting (being too short for their age) while only 8% of children aged 6 to 23 months meet the minimum acceptable diet. Stunted children are more likely to drop out of school and repeatedly experience lower productivity later in life.