Monday, 26 April 2010

Zambia among USAID nutrition project strategy beneficiaries

Zambia has been selected as a beneficiary for the USAID Feed the Future strategy, a comprehensive initiative that aims at reducing hunger and under-nutrition at national level.

Following a meeting on malnutrition between the World Bank, Japan, USAID and Canada on Saturday, it was announced that 12 priority countries, including Zambia, were going to benefit from the Feed the Future strategy.

USAID’s Feed the Future strategy is a comprehensive initiative that targets the causes of hunger and aims to reduce poverty, hunger, and under-nutrition at national scale.USAID is working with governments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to develop comprehensive, multi-sectoral plans to invest in food security and nutrition, including programs to boost agricultural productivity, expand access to markets, reduce under nutrition, and improve resilience to food security shocks.

Feed the Future priority countries included Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia in Africa; Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal, and Tajikistan in Asia; and Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua in Latin America.

With malnutrition causing the deaths of as many as three million mothers and young children every year, ministers, heads of development agencies, and civil society organisations attending the World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings are appealing to governments worldwide to invest more in halving the rate of malnutrition, one of the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The meeting for a high-level nutrition roundtable in Washington—co-hosted by Canada, Japan, the United States, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the World Bank heard how better nutrition, called the "forgotten MDG" for its historical neglect by aid donors, would not only sharply reduce hunger and malnutrition but also would significantly improve the health of mothers and children worldwide since research shows that malnourished mothers cannot deliver healthy children, and undernourished children are more likely to die.

By Post Reporter Mutale Kapekele in Washington DC

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