Sunday, May 26, 2024

World Vision launches ENOUGH Campaign to end child hunger and malnutrition in Kenya

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World Vision Kenya has embarked on a landmark campaign, ENOUGH, aimed at combating child hunger and malnutrition in Kenya. The initiative seeks to address the alarming prevalence of food insecurity, ensuring every child has access to nutritious food for their well-being and development.

The child-focused humanitarian organization aims to improve the nutritional status of vulnerable children in Kenya through targeted interventions, reducing hunger in the most affected communities through the three-year campaign.

Conflict, climate shocks, rising cost of living, and declining food production have all contributed to food scarcity and high food prices. According to the 2023 Global Hunger Index (GHI), Kenya ranks 90th out of the 125 countries with sufficient data to calculate 2023 GHI scores. With a score of 22.0, Kenya has a level of hunger that is serious.

Her Excellency the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya Rachel Ruto lauded World Vision for the initiative, noting that advocating for enough nutritious food for every child, both at home and in school, through ethical and sustainable sourcing is commendable.

“There’s no greater indignity than children attending school hungry. We’ve made significant strides, reducing stunting from 26% in 2014 to 18% in 2022. Overall, nutrition has improved. Yet, 847,000 Kenyan children under five face acute malnutrition, down 14.5% from 2023. We must unite to scale interventions in food security, health, nutrition, and finance to reach our goal of less than 5% childhood wasting by 2025.” H.E Rachel Ruto said.

Dr. David Githanga, Board Chair of World Vision Kenya, said, “Our vision is a world where every child enjoys enough nourishing food. Despite advancements, the statistics remain staggering. Globally, up to 783 million people faced hunger in 2022, with Kenya bearing its share of the burden.”

He added that in 2023, World Vision Kenya invested over 13 billion Kenyan shillings, with more than half dedicated to projects directly contributing to food and nutrition security, benefiting 1.9 million children and 1.5 million adults. Through integrated health programs, the organization operated in 21 counties, focusing on child protection, and disease prevention. Additionally, humanitarian efforts provided vital assistance to 1.3 million individuals affected by emergencies, with over 780,000 children receiving life-saving aid.

However, National Director Gilbert Kamanga noted that more needs to be done to address the malnutrition challenge in the country. “No child in Kenya. should die from hunger and malnutrition. We are intensifying our advocacy and collaboration efforts to work with the government, partners, and communities to develop and implement sustainable solutions. We must prioritize awareness, community resilience, and long-term strategies to address the root cause of hunger.” Kamanga said.

This is in line with the Government’s commitment to enhance the school meals program initiative by working with multiple stakeholders to find innovative and sustainable funding sources for school meals and expand the coverage from the current 1.9 million children to universal coverage by 2030.

The Campaign also calls for improved data collection, climate-smart agriculture, and policy reforms even as the Kenyan Government plans to establish a national policy on school meals by June 2023 as well as strengthen the efficiency and accountability mechanisms of the school meals initiative.

The ENOUGH Campaign is a global initiative connected to the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger. Simultaneously, World Vision International launched the ENOUGH Campaign across Africa, committing US $1.7 billion to address the escalating hunger crisis, targeting to improve the nutritional status of children in 27 vulnerable countries.

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