'Hunger stunts Zim children's growth'

HARARE - A report by the Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework (Zundaf) has revealed that 11,2 percent of children under five years of age are malnourished, a figure that is above the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of below 10 percent.

With the economy faltering and government ill-equipped to resolve the economic crisis — food  aid from donor agencies and non-governmental organisations has been a major contributor in reducing the number of people living below the Food Poverty Line (FPL).

According to the report 12,5 percent of males and 9,8 percent of females are underweight.

The urban population that is underweight is 6,8 percent as opposed to the rural population which stands at 12,7 percent.

“The proportion of the population below the FPL was more than halved from 42 percent in 2001 to 23 percent in 2011/12.

“However, this progress could be through food aid.

“Zimbabwe’s ability to achieve the MDG target of less than 10 percent of its population being underweight by 2015 was largely impeded by the large rural to urban disparities,” the report says.

Among some of the challenges highlighted in implementing the goals were the alignment of Zundaf to the government economic blueprint ZimAsset, which resulted in some programmes going off-track even though they remained within the agencies’ mandate.

According to a World Food Programme (WFP) report titled “10 facts about hunger in Zimbabwe” about 1,5 million or 16 percent of the population is likely to face hunger in the 2015/2016 season.

WFP estimates that the percentage of people likely to face hunger represents a 164 percent increase in food insecurity compared to the previous season.

“Nearly 28 percent of children under the age five in Zimbabwe are stunted, or have heights too low for their age, as a result of chronic malnutrition. More than half or 56 percent of all children between 6 and 59 months suffer from anaemia.

“Less than a quarter or 17,3 percent of Zimbabwean children between the ages of 6 and 23 months receive the recommended minimum acceptable diet for adequate nutrition,” the WFP warned.

Comments (2)

It has been widely known that most Zimbabweans are very stupid (mentally deficient).

alum - 12 December 2015

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