LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Civil Society Organisation Nutrition Alliance (CSONA) in Malawi, is dejected with insufficient of funding for the department of Nutrition and HIV and AIDS, despite the alarming rate of stunting.
Inadequate funding for the department has been low, despite the slight improvement in maternal and child nutrition in country, which still remains considerably high at 37 percent under-five stunting in children.
With such revelations, it remains a daunting task, and wakeup call for the nation to do more to avert the current situation.
The total annual costs associated with child undernutrition are estimated at MK147 billion (US$597), equivalent to 10.3 percent of the GDP.
But Malawi’s national budget does not meet this, despite commitment government made into during the nutrition for growth summit in 2013. It requires Malawi to increase the nutrition budget allocation from 0.1 to 0.3 by 2020.
This is the reason CSONA on Tuesday evening?, implored Members of Parliament (MPs) to appreciate the challenge of having low funding in the department.
Currently, MPs are in cluster committee meetings, analyzing the national budget, which Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe presented in the august House last week. The 2017-2018 fiscal year budget calls parliament to approve MK1.3 trillion.
CSONA National Coordinator Tisungeni Zimpita, emphasized the need to unlock investments towards nutrition, through domestic resources, policy, and political will towards achieving developmental agendas in the sector.
Zimpita said time was ripe for lawmakers to critically analyze the budget allocation on nutrition for upscaling the fight against stunting, which she says remain high.