At least 25 percent of children in Malawi are chronically malnourished and require urgent assistance with food and healthcare, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said on Wednesday.Speaking after receiving a €550,000 contribution by Ireland, WFP country representative Benoit Thiry said malnutrition remains a serious challenge in Malawi and contributes to preventable child deaths.
“Four of every 10 children are affected by chronic malnutrition,” Thiry said.
More than 37 percent of children in Malawi are affected by stunting (being too short for one’s age), while only eight percent of children under two years meet the minimum acceptable diet.
Thiry said there was urgent need to “propel efforts to improve the quality of nutrition services for vulnerable children and women.”
He said the Irish contribution would be used to promote access to quality nutrition and health services targeting 30,000 malnourished children, adolescents, and women in Neno District focussing on maternal, infant and child nutrition to reduce stunting and micronutrient deficiencies.
The contribution comes at a time when Malawi is impacted by COVID-19, which is threatening the efforts to improve nutrition and health in the country.