Lilongwe — Oxfam Malawi has said investment in nutrition was still a small portion of overall domestic budgets.
Livelihoods Resilience Programme Manager, Oxfam Malawi, Steve Kuliyazi said this Tuesday during the Inception meeting for “Increasing Resource Allocation and Accountability for Nutrition Sector in Malawi Project” at Ufulu Gardens in Lilongwe.
He said the trend indicates a persistently low nutrition allocation over the years with proportions at 0.6 percent, 0.5 percent 0.9 percent and 0.5 percent between 2016/2017 to 2019/2020 national budgets respectively.
Kuliyazi added that low size budget allocated for nutrition related initiative and programmes suggest that nutrition is marginalized programmatic expenditure.
“Leveraging on the power of the media, this project will focus on lobbying for increased allocation and accountability for nutrition resources at national, district and community level,
Kuliyazi said the project would build on the lessons and experiences of European Union (EU) funded Oxfam’s Scaling Up Nutrition Project which was implemented in Lilongwe Salima, Nkhotakota from December 2016 to January 2020 and GIZ Nutrition Project in Dowa and Dedza.
He asked participants to the meeting to make more inputs in order improve of deliver of the new project.
GIZ funded by Germany Cooperation, Malawi Food and Nutrition Sector Programme, (FNSP) Team Leader, Martina Kress said the implementation of Nutrition programmes are very crucial and needs the involvement of a lot of stakeholders.
She said the projects should be able to provided relevant nutrition information to women and mothers so that they could change their behaviours on nutrition issues.
“District Nutrition Coordinating Committees (DNCCs) should spearhead nutrition advocacy at council level so that budgetary allocations to the sector are improve. Councils should lobby to have a budget line for Nutrition activities.” Kress suggested.
Director of Planning and Development (DPD) for Salima, Kelvin Harawa said District Councils have a responsibility to ensuring that Nutrition issues are taken on board in their planning.
He said Nutrition activities need to be supported with a budget line when allocating financial resources at Council level.
The Districts to benefit from the 50,000 Euros project running from July 2020 to June 2021 are Salima, Dedza and Dowa.
It is estimated that 5 percent of the under five children totaling to 10,000 will benefit from increased budgetary allocation based on 2018 Malawi Population Census.
It is estimated that 50,000 adolescents, pregnant and lactating women in the three districts will benefit from various messages on nutrition aired through radios and other channels of communication and intervention funded by increased resource allocation.