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Declining Trends in Nutrition Funding Worries CSONA

Joseph Gausi: "There are declining trends in nutrition financing Joseph Gausi: "There are declining trends in nutrition financing

Civil Society Organization Nutrition Alliance (CSONA) says the declining trend in funding towards nutrition in the national budget casts doubts on the government's commitment to reduce malnutrition in the country.

CSONA Acting National Coordinator Joseph Gausi's remarks on Friday come against the background of the allocation in the national budget declining from 3.7% in 2020 to 1.1% in this year's budget.

Said Gausi, "This year we have gone down to 1.1% it's like the commitment by our government towards financing nutrition is going down at the same time if you note the improvements in nutrition status are not improving we are still stuck within 37% and 35% if you look at the multi annual cluster survey."

Gausi said budget analysis sessions carried out in councils have also revealed non-compliance to the commitment by government for 5% of Other Recurrent Transactions (ORT) allocations to departments and agencies to go towards nutrition activities.

He stressed the need for increased funding towards nutrition interventions, especially now when the country has experienced climatic shocks like cyclones, the devaluation of the kwacha - factors that have compromised households' resilience and increased poverty levels.

Gausi said despite slightly increasing funding in nutrition activities in departments of local councils it is not enough considering the devaluation of the kwacha.

Said Gausi,"Despite these increments, what is also important is to look at issues of devaluation that have happened in between so the money might be seen as an increase in nominal values but in real value if you consider inflation and devaluation you find that that amount of money is actually a decrease because what that money would do last year and now would be different because of those factors ".

He said such trends cast doubts on the country being able to achieve the aspirations set in the Malawi 2063.

Meanwhile, director of planning and development at the Mmbelwa District Council Walter Chikuni says this should spur departments to increase funding for nutrition activities so as to avert pressure on resources that are spent on treating nutrition related illnesses.

Said Chikuni, "Let's treat the budget analysis towards nutrition funding by CSONA as a wake up call where now all departments must up their funding in nutrition activities because if we have improved nutrition in our communities, we will reduce the expenses in treating malnutrition related illnesses."

CSONA, in partnership with Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, is implementing a nutrition advocacy project with funding from USAID.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 29/05/2024

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