Tuesday, 24 May 2016 09:03

RWANDA to Set Up a National Nutrition and Food Program Coordination Secretariat to Eradicate Malnutrition

20 May 2016 – Today the Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi announced the imminent setup of a National Nutrition and Food Program Coordination Secretariat to eradicate malnutrition. This was during the launch of the Gikuriro Project, a five-year, RWF 14.8 billion project designed to improve the nutritional status of women and children under five years of age.

Speaking at the event, the Prime Minister said: "Some Rwandan children still suffer from malnutrition problem whereas there is plenty of milk and maize in their neighborhood. Porridge can be used to feed those children who are starving in their families or centres. It is not understandable; this situation simply has to stop. Children must be cared for by their parents, neighbours and all Rwandans"

Eliminating malnutrition requires a high level of coordination across all concerned Government institutions and the Government of Rwanda is committed to that matter. It is in this regard that the Secretariat will serve as a technical support to the Social Cluster in Central Government, districts, development partners and civil society organisations, all working together in implementing nutrition programs.

"The Gikuriro project has been designed with the Government of Rwanda to provide more comprehensive support to the nationwide effort to reduce stunting," said the U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda, Erica J. Barks-Ruggles, at the launch of the project.

Gikuriro will focus on community-level service delivery interventions and district-level capacity strengthening to advance Rwanda's strategies to improve nutrition. The project will cover eight districts across Rwanda: Kicukiro, Nyarugenge, Rwamagana, Kayonza, Ngoma, Nyabihu, Ruhango, and Nyanza.

Speaking about Government strategies and policies, the Prime Minister said that apart from 1000 days campaign launched in 2013 to sensitize families to provide adequate nutrition from pregnancy through to the first two years of a child's life, Rwanda has other program to fight malnutrition. They include among others, the Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Malnutrition (JAPEM) and the District Plan to Eliminate Malnutrition (DPEM) as well as the Crop Intensification Program for improved agricultural productivity.

Source: Government of Rwanda (AllAfrica.com)

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