Newly upgraded WFP equipment packs fortified food at the agency's warehouse near Kampala. Copyright: WFP/Matthias Mugisha
Under WFP's new corporate strategy that prioritises nutrition in a bid to find more lasting solutions to hunger, this year record amounts will be spent in Uganda.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today said it has invested over US$14 million in nutrition activities and made its largest ever investments in nutrition infrastructure and capacity this year in Uganda.
“Food security and proper nutrition are closely linked,” said Country Director Stanlake Samkange. “In addition to WFP’s traditional emergency support to disaster-affected populations, combining nutrition with agriculture is a key part of WFP’s efforts to help the Government eradicate hunger.”
Working closely with the Government of Uganda WFP has invested over US$4 million in improving nutrition infrastructure to help build up capacity for the agency and the country for milling and enriching maize meal with vitamins and minerals. These investments are intended to complement the important work being done by UNICEF, the World Health Organization and other partners on nutrition.
Although Uganda produces large amounts of food, many people lack iron, Vitamin A and other essential micronutrients, without which children cannot have fully productive lives and pregnant women are at risk of death. Working with the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), and Harvest Plus, WFP is supporting farmers in producing, processing and marketing bio-fortified crops. These crops such as potatoes, cassava and millet are bred without genetic modification to have a higher content of micronutrients such as Vitamin A, zinc and iron.
In addition, WFP is working with partners to increase production and consumption of vegetable products and to sensitize communities to healthy nutritious eating, especially in vulnerable groups such as mothers and children.
“While this year WFP will spend over US$9 million on more traditional programmes including the school meals aimed at addressing food insecurity and stunting in the Karamoja region, it has also made important longer term investments in nutrition security in line with Uganda’s ‘National Development Plan’.” Samkange said.