Launch of the third phase of the project “Integrated approach to the fight against chronic malnutrition” in South Kivu

KINSHASA, 12 MAY 2022 The third phase of the project “Integrated approach to combating chronic malnutrition” in South Kivu, funded by the Swiss Department of Cooperation and Development (SDC), aims to consolidate the results of the previous two phases in the fight against chronic malnutrition in health areas of Bunyakiri and Minova, located in the territory of Kalehe, in the province of South Kivu.

This new phase will also help significantly reduce the prevalence of chronic malnutrition among children under five in this province by 2025.

According to MICS 2018, the chronic malnutrition rate stands at 48% in South Kivu, well above the critical threshold of 30% and represents nearly 700,000 children under the age of 5. Kalehe is among the areas most affected by chronic malnutrition, in particular the health areas of Bunyakiri and Minova, with prevalence respectively of 66.4% and 51%, according to the results of the evaluation survey of the DSC phase 2 project, since August 2021.

This project is jointly implemented by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Program (WFP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in collaboration with the ministries of public health, hygiene and prevention, agriculture and planning, as well as international and local non-governmental organizations.

“Within this project, the main objective of the FAO intervention is to support pregnant and breastfeeding women to improve access to diversified foods with high nutritional value through the production of fortified organic crops, the development of small livestock and the promotion of business-generating sources of income, “said Aristide Ongone Obame, FAO Representative in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The third stage will improve:

  • Adequate feeding practices for children aged 0 to 23 months, pregnant and breastfeeding women in 80% of families in the intervention areas;
  • Access to primary, sexual and reproductive health services for 70% of women of childbearing age (adolescents, pregnant and lactating women);
  • The access of 30% of the population to drinking water, to hygienic latrines and that adopt adequate hygienic practices;
  • Access to sufficient and diverse nutrition rich in micronutrients for 80% of families with children under the age of 23 months and pregnant and lactating women;
  • Effective multisectoral coordination at all levels.

“The World Food Program will build on the successes of previous stages to continue to prevent and treat malnutrition,” said Peter Musoko, World Food Program representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “The intervention will also have a particular focus on communicating behavioral change, where communities will be encouraged to adopt healthy eating practices. “

“This third phase will enable UNICEF to provide access to care for children under 5 suffering from severe acute malnutrition and to support interventions to prevent malnutrition, in particular the promotion of infant and young child nutrition. , the provision of food supplements to enrich the diet of children aged 6 to 23 months, the strengthening of community structures to raise the awareness of men and women on the issues of optimal nutrition and food and the improvement of access to families with drinking water and sanitation, “said Katya Marino, UNICEF AI Representative in DRC.

UNICEF will also strengthen the capacities of health facilities by providing them with training, tools, inputs for treatment and improvement of water and health infrastructure.

Recall that during the second phase of the project positive trends were observed across various indicators. The SMART survey carried out in August 2021 in the two health areas made it possible to better appreciate the effects of the high-impact interventions carried out in this phase, in particular:

  • A 10% increase in the proportion of children aged 6 to 23 months receiving adequate complementary nutrition;
  • 23,580 children aged 6 to 59 months and 3,979 pregnant and lactating women took care of acute malnutrition;
  • 3,128 children aged between 6 and 59 months and 3,735 pregnant and breastfeeding women benefited from nutritious food supplementation;
  • At least 40,000 people had access to safe water and 5,400 students benefited from a healthier school environment;
  • 5,156 FEFA families benefited from fortified organic seeds and nutrition-sensitive agro-pastoral support to improve availability and access to diversified, high-nutritional foods for children and women of childbearing age.

This phase will enable WFP to help increase access to nutritious and diverse nutrition for pregnant and lactating women and children under the age of 6-59 months by 2025, while improving their nutritional status. and their health. The actions to be carried out will be:

  • assistance to pregnant and lactating women and children aged 6 to 59 months who are moderately acutely malnourished in the UNS, food assistance for those accompanying SAM children in the UNTI;
  • nutritious food supplementation for 6,015 pregnant and lactating women and 10,666 children between the ages of 6 and 23 in Bunyakiri and Minova;
  • the distribution of money to 15,300 pregnant and breastfeeding women with children under the age of 2 to improve and diversify their diets with local foods and help increase their access to health care.

It is to consolidate all these results and maintain the good momentum observed in the improvement of the living conditions of the population of the targeted territories in the province of South Kivu that the third phase is launched.

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