May 28th, 2018. The UN Resident Coordinator Maria Jose Torres has stressed that community voice is key to achieving Zero Hunger and ending malnutrition in Malawi.
Speaking during a consultative meeting on Zero Hunger and Malnutrition Strategic Review process in Nkhata Bay on 23rd May 2018, Torres said the engagement and ownership of the solutions by the local communities helps to develop effective and sustainable interventions for addressing hunger and malnutrition.
Likewise, the work of the districts in addressing agriculture, health and nutrition challenges is capital to overcome stunting and help communities achieve resilience through climate smart solutions. SDGs call for a multidimensional approach and full involvement of local government, the communities and the private sector, she added.
“People in communities know the solutions to their problems and the UN is keen to integrate those ideas in its planning in order to transform their lives and those of Malawians at large,” she said.
On his part, the Lead Convener of the Strategic Review, former Vice President of the Republic of Malawi, Dr. Justin Malewezi, said there is need to understand the root causes of high stunting rate for Nkhata Bay despite the district having abundant food.
“We are here so that you should help us understand what we can do to deal with stunting which is high (stands at 33 percent) although there is food available in the district. What can we do to deal with stunting? Where are we getting it wrong in ensuring that we eat nutritious foods?” queried Malewezi.
The Zero Hunger and Malnutrition Strategic Review process in Malawi is a government-led, independent, analytical and consultative exercise to identify the key challenges that the country faces in achieving the second Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 2, which aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture or, in short, to achieve Zero Hunger and Malnutrition by 2030.
The recommendations that emerge from deliberations of the exercise will inform existing medium-term policy initiatives within Malawi to foster action on nutrition and food security, backed by evidence from trend analyses, models, policy reviews, costing of both action and inaction, and consultations.
Consultations are being carried out in Kasungu, Nkhata Bay, Dedza, Ntcheu, Balaka and Nsanje districts are scheduled from 23 to 30th May, 2018.