Ghana to benefit from $1m WFP package

Ghana is to benefit from a $1 million package from the World Food Programme (WFP) to launch an innovative nutrition project for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and young children, who are at risk of under nutrition.

The WFP suggests that stunted growth rates in Ghana averages 23 per cent in food-insecure areas such as the Northern Region and as high as 37 per cent in the country.

A statement issued by the WFP office in Ghana said Sierra Leone would benefit from $500,000 under the package provided by Japan.

It said Japan’s Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Toshiko Abe, announced this in Accra last Wednesday when he met Mr Felix Gomez, WFP Deputy Regional Director for West Africa.

It said the $1.5 million package was part of Japan and WFP’s expanded partnership to scale-up joint nutrition efforts to support governments in Africa, with particular focus on pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and young children who were mostly at risk of under nutrition.

“The WFP is extremely grateful for Japan’s strong commitment, leadership and investment in improving the nutrition of vulnerable mothers and children,” it said, and added “children’s physical and intellectual development can be irreversibly damaged if they do not receive proper nutrition during the first 1,000 days, from conception until a child reaches two years of age.’

The statement said the financial package followed the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development held in Japan in June, when the WFP Executive Director, Ertharin Cousin and Parliamentary Vice-Minister Abe, reaffirmed the importance of adequate nutrition for mothers and children, and agreed to launch nutrition programmes in Africa.

It said to determine suitable methods of collaboration on nutrition, the WFP had initiated discussions with Ghana and Sierra Leone, as well as with UN agencies and several Japanese partners including the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), non-governmental organisations, and the private sector.

It said proper nutrition was essential in nurturing the next generation and increasing the national incomes of developing countries.

Daily Graphic/