25 percent of Zimbabwean children die from malnutrition: Mugabe

Report
from The Zimbabwean
Published on 17 May 2013 View Original

The Zimbabwean government is worried by the high malnutrition-related death rate which currently accounts for 25 percent of deaths among children under the age of five, said President Robert Mugabe at the launch of The Zimbabwe Food and Nutrition Security Policy in Harare yesterday.

“The launch of the Food and Nutrition Security Policy shows government shift in strategic plan to address an issue which is not only of concern to Zimbabwe alone, but to the region and the world at large,” Mugabe told hundreds of stakeholders who witnessed the launch at the Harare International Conference Centre.

Food insecurity was blamed for the vicious circle of malnutrition.

Though food insecurity is a global threat, Africa carries the heaviest burden due to unpredictable climate and poverty.

Spiralling food prices and climatic changes were blamed for the food insecurity faced by Zimbabwe.

FAO estimates that 890 million people worldwide are food insecure with one in every three children chronically malnourished.

Mugabe said to mitigate effects of food insecurity government will take measures aimed at subsidising agriculture inputs and support the land reform programme since it was the cornerstone of agriculture.

Measures would be taken to assist small scale and women farmers access agriculture inputs, said Mugabe.

The Food and Nutrition Security Policy was motivated by recurrent hunger in Zimbabwe.

The policy is hoped to provide a framework and coordinated multi-sectoral food security intervention strategy.

It will also help ensure food security to the nation at all times especially for the vulnerable members among communities.

As a result, a task force recommended the formation of a food security council funded by government. The task force is headed by Vice President Joyce Mujuru as the Chairperson.

Institutions such as SIRDC, Food and Nutrition Council Zimbabwe, government ministries, UNDP, WFP, WHO, UNICEF, various NGOs, the private sector and various other stakeholders were commended for their contributions towards the realisation of the policy.