MOROTO - The Japanese Ambassador to Uganda today handed over food to boost nutrition for 50,000 infants, mothers and pregnant women in Karamoja to prevent child stunting in the region.
The handover took place at Nadunget Health Centre III in Moroto District, where the Ambassador, H.E Kazuaki Kameda, gave Super Cereal and Super Cereal Plus and fortified vegetable oil, channelled through the mother-and-child health and nutrition programme run by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
WFP will distribute the food - in total 1,700 metric tons - to children aged 6-23 months, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers throughout Karamoja to enhance their nutrition and reduce the risk of stunting or reduced growth.
Making nutrition a priority, starting during a child's first 1,000 days, is one of the five key steps towards Zero Hunger and the achievement of SDG 2 (Sustainable Development Goal 2). To prevent stunting and promote healthy development, children and nursing mothers must eat a balanced diet with the nutrients required to help children grow to their full potential.
"Japan is committed to the Sustainable Development Goals, including Zero Hunger. Nutrition is the very foundation of health and Japan is committed to stepping up its support for the alleviation of hunger and malnutrition in Uganda," said Ambassador Kameda.
Ambassador Kameda added that Japan has contributed US$2.5 million to WFP, to provide enough food for the health and nutrition programme until August 2017.
"WFP is very grateful for Japan's strong commitment to investing in food and nutrition security in Uganda. This contribution will improve nutrition and help establish the healthy growth of children, who will, in turn, contribute to the robust development of Uganda," said El Khidir Daloum, WFP Country Director.
WFP implements food assistance through government health centres where immunization, growth monitoring and other child-focused services are provided, and where NGOs assist through health and nutrition education. The food enriches the diets of women and children while improving women's healthy behaviour.
The Cost of Hunger in Africa: Uganda 2013 study - conducted by the Government of Uganda with the support of the African Union Commission, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and WFP - found that Uganda loses as much as 5.6 per cent of its GDP annually due to the effects of poor child nutrition, particularly stunting.
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 75 countries.
Source: World Food Programme