DAR ES SALAAM - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has received a contribution of Euros 9.5 million from the European Union (EU) in support of a Euros 24.5 million Food Security and Nutrition Project in central Tanzania.
The project is designed to improve food and nutrition security for 40,000 people while contributing to the reduction of malnutrition in the targeted districts of Bahi and Chamwino in Dodoma region and Ikungi and Singida Rural in Singida region.
The EU contribution was announced today during an official signing ceremony at Umoja House in Dar es Salaam with Dr. Mpoki Ulisubisya, the Permant Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Michael Dunford, WFP Country Representative for Tanzania, and Roeland Van De Geer, Head of the European Delegation to Tanzania, in attendance.
"Despite improvement in many health indicators over the last decade, there has been insufficient progress in improving the nutritional status of children and women in Tanzania," Roeland Van De Geer, Head of the European Delegation to Tanzania, said at the ceremony. "The persistent levels of stunting, wasting and micronutrient deficiencies in the country constitute a silent emergency. The new high-level political commitment to fight under-nutrition in Tanzania from a multi-sectoral perspective is a real game-changer. Through this project the EU together with WFP is well positioned to define and support the links between agriculture, health, food security and nutrition, which have not previously been well articulated or pursued."
The project builds on WFP's long-standing presence in central Tanzania and its experience in providing nutritious food and social behaviour change communication through local health facilities. These activities will be complemented by efforts in other sectors to provide a more holistic approach to reduce stunting in the country. The national level of stunting stands near 34 percent, with Dodoma at 36.5 percent and Singida at 29.2 percent.
"Thanks to this contribution from the European Union, WFP is embarking on an innovative programme which aims to meet the nutrition needs of the most vulnerable, especially children during their key growth phase of the first 1,000 days from conception to two years," WFP Country Representative Michael Dunford said at the ceremony. "This programme will provide evidence that will inform future initiatives, and it therefore carries the potential to bring about lasting positive change in Tanzania."
In Tanzania, the rate of chronic under-nutrition among children is driven by poverty, food insecurity and inadequate infant and young child feeding. The project will work to improve knowledge on nutrition, dietary diversity and practices in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). The activities will be boosted by promoting the raising of small-scale livestock, planting diverse crops and mobilizing villages to start small savings and loan groups, increasing access to capital.
Save the Children is WFP's partner in strengthening synergies and capacities of community- based organisations and communities to promote gender empowerment and multi-sector approaches to nutrition, as well as coordinating the implementation of the agriculture component of the project.
By coordinating these activities under one umbrella, WFP, the EU and Save the Children will be addressing multiple challenges in improving food security and nutrition in Tanzania.
The project is part of WFP's work toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger. In order to reach Zero Hunger by 2030, WFP is working with a wide range of partners including governments, the private sector and civil society.
Source: World Food Programme