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|2010 Nation-Wide Comprehensive Food, Nutrition Survey Launched|
|Published on January 21, 2011||Email To Friend Print Version
By Marcus Zoleh
The Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with its partners yesterday launched the 2010 Nationwide Comprehensive Food and Nutrition Survey Findings on Liberia.
In Vice President Joseph Boakai's keynote address, which was delivered by Agriculture Minister, Florence Chenoweth, stated that the government and her partners have made tremendous progress in addressing the issue of food security and nutrition, but also cited some challenges.
“New estimates from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) put the number of hungry people on planet in 2010 at 925 million, down from more than 1 billion in 2009. To date, our food security is improving as compared to 2006, when the Unity Party administration took office. In spite of the fact that our market centers are saturated with all kinds of homegrown produce, we are nevertheless concerned about the reported 41% of our people whose food consumption is at unacceptable level. Equally, we are concerned that 42% of our children are suffering from stunted growth and our reliance on world market for food, in particular rice, continue to rise astronomically,” V.P. Boakai stated.
He stressed the need to consolidate the budget required for food and nutrition policy initiative in order to handle the issue of food security in Liberia. V.P Boakai furthered that the “resources necessary to address the food and nutrition problems should match the Ministry of Agriculture's efforts to present real needs,” adding that they are essential ingredients of protection that will better position the Ministry to fulfill its food security and nutrition mandate.
For her part, UNICEF Country Director cited as critical the survival of children and called on the government and other partners to take the wellbeing of children very seriously.
She pledged UNICEF's continuance support to government's food and nutrition program for Liberia.
According to the 2010 Sate of Food and Nutrition Security, food security status is improving compared to 2006 but remains unacceptable high with 41% of the population's food intake below acceptable.
The report furthered stated that the structural problems of inequality, poverty, unemployment and food insecurity that led to the 14 years of civil conflict remain largely unaddressed.
The findings also recalled that thirty-five percent of mortality in under-five year old children is related to malnutrition. It stated furthered that children under two years of age consume relatively little food, but need nutrient dense food, good caring practices and effective treatment of children illnesses to avoid malnutrition.
According to the report, more efforts are needed to improve nutrition in women and delay women's first birth until after completion of adolescent growth.
The state of the 2010 Nationwide Food and Nutrition Security was launched at the Monrovia City Hall with several stakeholders in attendance.