UK donates $9.7m to help Mozambique fight malnutrition and food insecurity

The United Kingdom has donated $9.67million to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) as support for the fight against malnutrition and food insecurity. The donation, made public on Tuesday, is timely for Mozambique which currently has about 120,000 malnourished and acutely food insecure people living in drought-affected districts in its Tete province.

“The support focuses on children under five and pregnant and nursing women, as malnutrition can affect these population groups in a more lasting manner. and a total of 216,000 children are being diagnosed for acute malnutrition of which over 11,000 require and are receiving treatment” a media statement to APA reads.

These people are also benefiting from cash-based transfers which includes transfers using vouchers and also mobile transfers, done in close collaboration with local communities, the authorities and sectoral partners, including the country´s relief agency, the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC) and National Social Action Institute (INAS).

The benefits of this kind of transfer modality include the engagement of local retailers, and promoting their outreach to more distant communities, representing a boost to the local market.

“The World Food Programme is very grateful for the contribution of the United Kingdom, which allows us to set up a timely response, now in full swing at the peak of the lean season,” said Karin Manente, WFP Country Director in Mozambique.

Karin notes that malnutrition prevents the full growth of children and about 43 percent of children in Mozambique are stunted which means they will never fulfil their growth potential. It is also worthy to note that pregnant and breastfeeding women are also affected by malnutrition. She further stated that the livelihood of local communities can also be disrupted by acute food insecurity.

The Mozambican government’s Food and Nutritional Security Technical Secretariat (SETSAN), also said that Mozambique is losing $1 billion, or almost 11 percent of its Gross Domestic Product, (GDP) due to chronic malnutrition annually.