WFP, partners launch nutrition project for food insecure populations
More than 250,000 food insecure children, adolescent girls, and pregnant women are set to receive nutritious foods and nutrient fortified supplement for a period of six months to help boost their nutritional status.
During the period, women and girls would be economically empowered through nutrition-sensitive livelihood programmes to enable them produce and or purchase nutritious foods to ensure sustainability.
This was in line with the “Project for Universal Nutrition and Health Coverage through Sustainable Systems for Nutrition Improvement”, which was launched at Pishigu in the Karaga District of the Northern Region.
A total of 91 districts in 10 regions are to benefit from the project.
It was being implemented by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) with support from the Government of Japan and in collaboration with KOKO Plus Foundation to build resilience of vulnerable people to food and nutrition insecurity.
According to the 2020 Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis, the Karaga District was the second most food insecure district in the country and it is in the Northern Region, which still has the highest level of stunting growth nationwide hence the project.
Ms Barbara Clemens, Representative and Country Director of WFP, speaking during the launch of the project, said it formed part of WFP’s support to the government to amongst others prevent malnutrition during the first 1,000 days of life.
Ms Clemens said “It supports commitments made by national governments including Ghana during the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit held in December 2021 committing to integrate nutrition into Universal Health Coverage thereby making good nutrition accessible to all, transforming foods systems to promote safe, sustainable, and healthy foods to support people and planet, and building resilience to effectively address malnutrition.”
Mr Mochizuki Hisanobu, Ambassador of Japan to Ghana said, “Sustained and coordinated action to address malnutrition and food insecurity is important from the viewpoint of our commitment to promoting the concept of human security, which is a key development cooperation objective of Japan’s Official Development Assistance.”
Mr Hisanobu added that the project was an example of Japan’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals of “Ending hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture.”
He commended Ghana for her commitment to promoting universal nutrition as part of efforts to achieve universal health coverage.
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director-General of Ghana Health Service, whose speech was read on his behalf, lauded the project, and gave assurance to strengthen inter-sectoral collaboration to ensure improved service delivery and success of the project.
Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister, whose speech was read on his behalf, called for commitment to ensure successful implementation of the project for the well-being of the target groups, especially children.
Naa Alhassan Andani, Chief of Pishigu, who chaired the launch, expressed gratitude to the WFP partners for the project, saying it was crucial to safeguarding the future of children in the area.