France helps address child malnutrition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The contribution, which has been provided through the France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will help WFP provide nutrition products to prevent and treat acute malnutrition to some 140,000 children, pregnant and nursing women in the Kasaï-Central and Kasaï-Oriental provinces where the nutrition situation remains alarming. Latest estimates indicate that some 2.4 million children under five years of age and some 1.7 million pregnant and nursing women are suffering from acute malnutrition with 45 percent of deaths, among children under five related to malnutrition.
“I am deeply concerned by the situation many children and mothers face. No one should feel the pain of hunger and the fear of going to bed hungry, ‘’ says Peter Musoko, WFP’s Country Director in DRC. ‘’WFP is extremely grateful to the Government of France for this generous contribution, at a crucial time in DRC where child hunger remains a grave concern.’’
DRC remains one of the largest hunger crises on earth, with almost 26 million people facing food insecurity. Hunger hangs over the country and it takes just one shock to plunge millions more into dire food insecurity. In addition to providing nutritious food, WFP will invest in building the skills of nursing mothers to improve their knowledge of caring and feeding practices.
"The fight against child malnutrition is one of the priorities of the humanitarian strategy of the French Embassy in DRC. I am convinced of the importance of implementing these prevention programmes, which target the causes of the crisis and aim to reduce humanitarian needs in the long term. We have supported around ten nutrition and food security projects in Kasaï-Central and Kasaï-Oriental since 2017. Through this new partnership with WFP, we aim to provide assistance to more than 90,000 children and 48,000 households," says Bruno Aubert, France’s Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
When faced with challenges, the most vulnerable families sell household items and livestock just to be able to afford food. WFP works with community leaders to understand the challenges people face and the risks they may take to make sure they have access to food.
WFP’s nutrition activities ensure its assistance addresses the different experiences, needs and priorities of women, men, and children. Despite the challenging operating environment, WFP and partners have treated some 1.4 million malnourished children and pregnant and nursing women as of October this year. While contributions from donors such as France are invaluable, WFP requires an additional US $90 million to carry-out critical treatment and prevention of malnutrition activities fully for a year.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change.
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