Liberia: Stakeholders Stress The Need for Budgetary Support as Shalom, United Youth Discuss Issues on Nutrition
MONROVIA – SHALOM Inc has conducted two Consultative Meetings with relevant Government Ministries, especially those with Divisions on Nutrition.
The SHALOM team was able to conduct the consultative meetings with the Ministry of Agriculture Food Security and Nutrition Division including the Ministry of Health Division on Nutrition.
Speaking during their respective meetings on June 9 and 10, 2021, the Executive Director of SHALOM, Kunue Massally gave the overall objective of the consultative meeting, separately at the two occasions.
He said basically the gathering was intended to review a Research that was conducted by a consultant who was contracted by Irish Aid due to the nutrition status in Liberia.
According to him, the participants were able to focus on findings conducted from of the Research that could be used in future interventions across the country as a means of striving to reduce malnutrition.
Mr. Massally further disclosed that the highlights gathered advocacy points to the attainment of result of the Research, as a means of coming out with the rightful messages on Nutrition.
He additionally indicated that participants at the two meetings were able to listen to authorities of the Ministry of Health-Nutrition Division and that of the Ministry of Agriculture-Food Security and Nutrition Division on prospects and challenges of the two Divisions.
According to him, the Nutritional Research that was conducted by the consultant highlighted the increased of stunting due to several factors including inaccessibility of roads, among others.
He said the government has committed itself through the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development in reducing stunting to 22% by 2023.
Mr. Massally said because it is imperative on the part of the Liberian government to formulate policies to have a national legal framework that will be able to do their work by looking at the underlining causes of stunting and the linkages that included WASH and other cross-cutting areas, among others.
Also speaking, the Director of Nutrition at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Anette Brimah Davies indicated that her Division looks forward to partners including WaterAid for stronger collaboration in the area of advocacy as a means for Nutrition to be apriority.
She said with the fact that Nutrition has been captured into the National Agenda, shows that the government has ownership for nutritional activities in Liberia.
Dr. Davis wants partners to work collaboratively with the Division of Nutrition to develop nutritional messages.
She further pointed out that there is a need for agriculture to be attractive in an effort to produce more food as a means to address stunting across the country.
For his part, the Training Director at the Ministry of Agriculture, Raphael Collins expressed thanks and appreciation to the partners for such a vital gathering in finding ways and means to address the nutritional problems.
He said the Agriculture Ministry is open for collaborations in other to formulate programs with the objective of addressing those constrains that the Ministry is confronted with.
In a separate meeting, the Director for Food Security and Nutrition at the Agriculture Ministry, Sam Yoryor however pointed out that logistical support and training as well as road connectivity are key constraints hampering availability of nutritional food on the markets.
During the two separate Meetings, both Agriculture and Health Ministries highlighted the lack of budgetary allocation and logistics as major challenges they are facing, among others.