The German government has allocated approximately K6.3 billion to support efforts aimed at addressing malnutrition. The funds will be used in projects implemented in Phalombe, Nsanje, Blantyre, Dowa, and Lilongwe.
Through KfW, the German government has since 2011 been working with the Ministry of Health implementing 13 high-impact nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions through the SUN Nutrition Education Communication Strategy – II.
With technical support from UNICEF, some activities will include promoting optimal breastfeeding and complementary feeding for infants and strengthening the nutrition policy environment and governance structures.
In a joint statement, Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo-Chiponda says the support comes when Malawi is dealing with a challenging food security situation as 4.4 million people are expected to face high levels of acute food insecurity.
“The government of Germany has supported Malawi to effectively respond to stunting, which is compromising the country’s socio-economic development. This additional assistance will enable us to step up efforts to improve livelihoods and build resilience among the communities and households to promote optimal nutrition among our children, adolescents, women, and other vulnerable groups,” said Kandodo-Chiponda.
German Ambassador to Malawi, Ute König, said the grant will also protect hard-won nutrition gains Malawi has achieved under the SUN programme that addresses the needs of the most vulnerable people, especially children.
“No matter what, everyone deserves the opportunity to have a balanced and healthy diet. This support aligns with our goals of building resilience in food and nutrition security for everyone worldwide,” said König.
UNICEF Representative Shadrack Omol commended the German Government for the timely support he said will help sustain progress in protecting children from malnutrition and enhancing Malawi’s human capital.
Since the start of the SUN programme in 2011, Malawi has made significant strides in eradicating undernutrition over the past years, reducing stunting among under-five children from 37 percent in 2016 to the current 33 percent.
In addition, Vitamin A deficiency in children has also reduced from 22 percent to 4 percent during the same period, while acute undernutrition in children is low at 2.5 percent.
This is Germany’s additional funding towards the SUN programme that Malawi has been implementing since 2011, bringing the overall German government’s contribution towards the programme to 44.55 million euros since 2016.