Maputo, 23 Mar (AIM) – The United States government, through its Agency for International Development (USAID), will disburse about 75 million dollars in the next five years to support actions aimed at reducing malnutrition in six districts of the central Mozambican province of Zambézia.
The support is part of a programme called Okhokelamo ni Solho (Resilient Nutrition, in the Elomwe language), aiming to combat chronic child malnutrition.
According to a document unveiled on Wednesday, malnutrition in early childhood hampers development throughout life, and the rural regions of Zambézia have particularly high indicators. 45 percent of children under five are stunted and 77 percent are anaemic.
The Okhokelamo ni Solho activities focus on the nutritional needs of mothers, children, and girls, and will involve community leaders, in coordination with government health services.
As additional support, the program will distribute nutrient-rich food products to needy families during the rainy season, when food diversity is markedly lower.
“Tropical Cyclone Freddy, which this March also hit Zambézia, proves the need for resilient and prepared communities in the districts participating in Okhokelamo. To maximize its impact on resilience, the activity is designed to work closely with other USAID food and nutrition related activities focused on Zambézia as part of the Feed the Future (FTF) initiative”, reads the document.
The promotion of maternal and child nutrition is said to be a critical component of broader US government assistance in Mozambique.
The document states that, in close collaboration with the Mozambican government, the US provides more than 700 million dollars annually to improve the quality of education and health care, as well as to promote economic prosperity, and support the overall development of the nation.