Luanda — The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of Angola today launched a nutrition project aimed to support the provincial authorities of Luanda in the treatment and prevention of acute malnutrition in children. The project will support vulnerable communities adversely affected by the social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The project that we launch today will help us strengthen national capacities for a timely and adequate response to acute malnutrition and ensure that children in vulnerable communities are able to learn and grow," said Catarina Oatanha, Head of the Public Health Department of the Luanda Provincial Health Directorate.
To enable efficient treatment of children under five showing signs of acute malnutrition, WFP will conduct trainings for community health workers who will perform nutritional screenings for 1.1 million children. WFP will also provide highly nutritious food supplements, to be distributed by the provincial authorities to at least 37,000 malnourished children under five.
"Acute malnutrition commonly affects all groups in a community, but infants and young children are the most vulnerable as they require greater nutrition for growth and development," said Michele Mussoni, WFP Angola Head of Office. "The pandemic severely disrupted the livelihoods of vulnerable populations in the urban settings where informal labour is the primary source of income for many, and we hope that this project will help improve their food security and nutrition increasing their resilience."
In addition, WFP will support the Government of Angola in trainings to improve the skills of families and caregivers in infant-young child feeding (IYCF) practices, safe hygiene, health, nutrition and protective measures against COVID-19.
The project is part of the national COVID-19 response and is funded through the Agreement for Provision of Technical Assistance signed between WFP and the Government of Angola and supported by the World Bank. The Agreement also covers school feeding, vulnerability assessment and mapping to support comprehensive and reliable food security and nutrition assessments in the country. In Angola, WFP works with the Government and a range of partners towards the achievement of SDG2 (Zero Hunger) and SDG17 (Partnerships for the Goals).