The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomed a donation of ₤ 7.5 million from the United Kingdom to support some of Mozambique’s 120,000 most malnourished and acutely food insecure people.
In a media statement on Tuesday, 12 February 2019, the UN agency expressed its gratitude for the timely contribution, a total of 120,000 people residing in the most drought affected districts in Tete province are benefiting from cash-based transfers.
This includes transfers using vouchers and also introducing 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 includes the engagement of local retailers, and promoting their outreach to more distant communities, representing a boost to the local market.
“The WFP partnership with the United Kingdom also benefits at least 16,000 people in the districts of Cabo Delgado, Manica, Tete and Zambezia with the highest levels of moderate acute malnutrition in the country.
“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”, reads the statement.
At the same time 5,000 pregnant and lactating women with signs of moderate acute malnutrition are also being treated. The partnership is channeled through the national programme for the rehabilitation of acute malnutrition managed by the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with local authorities and partners.
“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.
She added: “acute food insecurity can disrupt the lives and livelihoods of local communities, while malnutrition can prevent the full growth of children as well as affecting the health of women during pregnancy, at breastfeeding and for lifetime. It is important to work together to save the future of these women and children”.
According to the official, UK Aid support for nutrition and food security is an investment in Mozambique’s future. 43 percent of children in Mozambique are stunted, meaning they will never fulfil their potential. Stronger leadership and coordinated support is essential to act fast and respond to needs.
The lean season normally starts in November and ends with the harvest, in May and June. Compared to 1.5 million in the same period, this year a total of 815,000 people are confirmed to be in need of emergency food assistance during the lean season, which may lead to increases in acute malnutrition if not adequately addressed.
The Mozambican government’s Food and Nutritional Security Technical Secretariat (SETSAN), says Mozambique is losing $1 billion annually, or almost 11 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product, (GDP) due to chronic malnutrition.