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Monday, 19 June 2017

Post-Crisis Response to Food and Nutrition Insecurity Project Launched

The Post-Crisis Response to Food and Nutrition Insecurity Project was on Thursday launched in The Gambia at a hotel in Senegambia. The US$11.4 million project seeks to support the fight against malnutrition among children under two years in four administrative regions namely; North Bank Region, Lower River Region, Central River Region and Upper River Region through targeted interventions focusing on food insecure households. In her remarks, Saffie Lowe-Ceesay, the minister of Health and Social Welfare has stated that the under-nutrition is a major public health problem in The Gambia, exacerbated by increasing poverty levels and food insecurity, poor coverage of nutrition interventions, poor dietary habits, poor sanitation and hygiene and increased burden. As they are aware that food and nutrition security is about access to sufficient and affordable nutritious food, she said that the Gambia Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) 2013 showed that 24.5% of children under five were stunted and wasting among children under five has also significantly worsened from a rate of 6.4% to 11.5%."Poor sanitary and hygiene conditions, coupled with inadequate access to safe water, among the major factors contributing to deteriorating levels of malnutrition status among children under five in The Gambia", she informed the gathering. According to her, good nutrition is the first defence against disease and their source of energy to live noting that nutritional problems caused by an inadequate diet could be of many sorts, and when they affect a generation of youngsters, they could lower learning capacities, thus compromising their future, and perpetuating a generational cycle of poverty and malnutrition, with severe consequences on both individuals and nations. Dr. Perpetua Katepa-Kalala, FAO country representative who made a joint statement on behalf of FAO, WFP and UNICEF, said that the project would last for 30 months and has a total budget of 11.4 milloin Euro out of which 4.2 million Euro would directly target support to agriculture and through FAO; 5.2 million Euro would directly target support to food and nutrition through WFP; and 1.65 million Euro would target nutrition intervention through UNICEF.

Source: Allafrica