|The Government yesterday began an integrated nutrition and food security programme to end malnutrition and stunting for children and vulnerable groups in Viet Nam. — Illustrative Image doisongphapluat.com
HA NOI (VNS) — The Government yesterday began an integrated nutrition and food security programme to end malnutrition and stunting for children and vulnerable groups in Viet Nam.
The programme's start comes just one week after Viet Nam joined 193 nations in signing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that aim to put an end to hunger and poverty by 2030.
The Government of Spain has provided US$1.5 million channeled through a SDGs fund to support the integrated nutrition and food security programme in Viet Nam.
The programme on integrated nutrition and food security will target the most disadvantaged ethnic minorities, those living in poverty, and seek to reduce inequity gaps with a goal to improve the nutritional status of more than 36 million women of reproductive age and 7.1 million boys and girls under five in Viet Nam.
Support will focus on two high poverty provinces including Lao Cai province in the north and Ninh Thuan province in the south to gather data and evidence that will inform national policy changes and scale up sustainable and integrated nutrition and food security models.
It will also train staff and support capacity development of local institutions, organizations and policy makers responsible for management and implementation of nutrition and food security programmes.
Attending the inaugural ceremony, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said although Viet Nam reached the Millennium Development Goals of halving both under-five mortality and infant mortality, malnutrition among children under five remains a major public health challenge.
While the national statistics showed a slow but steady decline in malnutrition rates in Viet Nam, poor nutrition still accounts for 45 per cent of total under-five deaths. Recent figures indicate that 25 per cent of children under five are stunted while 14.5 per cent are underweight.
"This project will practically contribute to improving the health and nutrition of mothers and children in Viet Nam and orient the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals that the United Nations has just adopted," Long said.
Pratibha Mehta, United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam said, "Four UN agencies including FAO, UNICEF, WHO and UN Women will work together, each utilizing their core knowledge and expertise on food security, health and nutrition for children and vulnerable groups in Viet Nam." — VNS