Vice President Dr Saulosi Klaus Chilima on Thursday emphasized on the need for Malawi to fight hunger and under nutrition, saying if not national and global development goals will not be achieved.
Chilima said, if citizens do not have food to eat and are under nutritious, a lot of government’s resources will be lost thereby hindering the development of the nation and that of the globe.
Dr Chilima said this Thursday in Lilongwe when he officially opened the Malawi Compact 2025 Roundtable Discussions whose overall objective is to build on and support previous and ongoing efforts to accelerate ending hunger and under nutrition in Malawi by 2025.
Said Chilima; “If hunger and under nutrition persist, there is no chance that we can achieve national and global development goals.
“Over the past decade there has been an average of 1.4 million people facing food shortages each year, even in years of surplus production and in spite of strong investments in agriculture.
“Furthermore, the recent floods and droughts caused by El NiAo have exacerbated the situation, putting millions of people in a state of food insecurity.”
According to the Vice President, under nutrition is a persistent challenge, as 42 per cent of children under the age of five are stunted a reflection of chronic under nutrition and a condition that hinders physical and mental development, and lowers the potential of a child throughout their entire lives.
He then therefore commended the Compact 2025 as he said it offers a unique opportunity for Malawi to overcome these challenges by filling critical knowledge gaps; supporting ongoing and complementary initiatives for ending hunger and under nutrition; and learning from our own and each other’s experiences.
“Malawi joined Compact2025 in 2015, and I have been pleased to accept the invitation of IFPRI’s Director General to serve on the Compact 2025 Leadership Council. I see Compact 2025 as a means of strengthening ongoing food security and nutrition initiatives in this country, providing evidence to better prioritize and implement actions, and stimulating innovation for new solutions to end hunger and under nutrition”, he said.
Meanwhile, Chilima has since asked Malawians to embrace food diversification as he said we cannot keep on relying on nsima alone which is a product of maize but rather take other foods such as potatoes and cassava.
Speaking earlier, Dr. Alexander Kalimbira, Associate Professor of Human Nutrition and Head of Department of Human Nutrition and Health at LUANAR said there is need for a coordinated effort from both the government and its development partners to that the battle to hunger and under nutrition is won.
“Most people spend 77 per cent of their resources on food alone, and this has made poverty to persists despite the strong economic growth and Malawi poses as the highest when it comes to issues of stunting which is pegged at 42 per cent”, he said.
The roundtable discussion attracted delegates from within and outside countries.
Source: Malawi News Agency