World Food Program launches project to improve nutrition and health in 91 Karaga districts

The World Food Program (WFP) has launched an integrated nutrition-livelihoods public-private partnership project in the Karaga district of the northern region with a $1.5 million grant from the Japanese government.

The project aims to improve nutrition and health services in 91 districts in 8 regions of Ghana and aims to reach over 250,000 beneficiaries in these districts.

The project titled “Universal Nutrition and Health Coverage through Sustainable Systems for Nutrition Improvement” is to be undertaken jointly by Ghana Health Service, WFP and Ajinomoto Foundation/KOKO Plus Foundation.

Delivering a speech on the state of nutrition, food insecurity and malnutrition in Karaga District, the Acting Deputy Director of Nutrition at the Ghana Health Service, Veronica Quartey revealed that 48.4 % of households in Karaga district are food insecure, which she described as worrying.

“I was very shocked when, as part of the presentation at the kick-off meeting of this project, when my office was briefed on the findings of the comprehensive food security and vulnerability analysis in the district of Karaga…it was never expected that the food security situation in Karaga would be as disturbing as this study shows,” she said.

She said that although Karaga, like other districts, has problems accessing food at the household level, the figure is overwhelming.

Dietary insufficiency, she said, leads to various health problems such as malnutrition, anemia and adverse birth outcomes such as low birth weight, stillbirth and in most cases , maternal deaths.

Veronica Quartey called on everyone to lend their support to address the issue of nutrition, food insecurity and malnutrition in the district.

She praised the Japanese government for its prompt action in dealing with the problem in the district.

District Director of Health Services, Charity Azantilow, who delivered a speech on behalf of Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, said the launch of the project marks a milestone in the health sector.

She noted that it will leverage livelihoods, social behavior change communication and food support to build the resilience of the vulnerable population to food and nutrition security in the district.

World Food Program launches project to improve nutrition and health in 91 Karaga districts

“It will also highlight the role of public-private partnership in tackling malnutrition in Ghana,” she said.

Karaga President Member, Ziblim Sulemana delivering a speech on behalf of Karaga District Chief Executive, Iddrisu Mohammed Saani, said that WFP has exerted tremendous efforts for the development of the region.

He cited supporting Ghana’s school feeding program in 15 communities with food since 2018 as one of his supporters.

“The program has also supported around 80 district schools and two JHSs, especially girls, with the provision of take-home food rations to supplement family food needs,” he noted.

According to him, the integrated nutrition-livelihoods initiative will help the district tackle malnutrition among children in the area.

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