Sunday, 24 April 2011

MALNUTRITION: Democratic Republic of Congo: The European Commission boosts its response to tackle malnutrition

Mariah Jen : 20 April 2011
Child mortality is very high in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where more than one child out of ten dies before turning five. In order to reduce this severe acute malnutrition and implement humanitarian projects benefiting primarily malnourished children under five, the European Commission has allocated new funding worth €9.975 million. In concrete terms, this funding will allow acutely malnourished children to be provided with the right treatment they need to survive, such as therapeutic food and medical care.
Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, said: “Malnutrition deserves more of our attention for the sake of the many children at risk of dying in the Democratic Republic of Congo.” She added: “By responding to immediate needs, the European Union’s humanitarian aid complements Europe’s longer-term development assistance which aims, among other objectives, to help the DRC to achieve the Millennium Development Goals of reducing hunger and poverty and infant and maternal mortality.”
With its humanitarian funding in response to the nutritional emergency in the DRC, the Commission also intends to strengthen the coordination role of UNICEF and the capacity of the national nutrition programme (PRONANUT) as well as to improve planning of aid activities.

Child mortality is very high in the DRC: out of 1,000 babies born an estimated 158 die before they turn five. Whereas some progress has been made in the country in recent years regarding malnutrition in the East, acute malnutrition remains critical with a rate of above 2% in almost all Western provinces.
In the DRC, the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection department (ECHO) has offices in Kinshasa, in Bunia, Bukavu and Goma. ECHO experts closely follow developments in the humanitarian situation and monitor the use of the Commission’s relief funds.
Since 2009, the European Commission has allocated a total of more than €141 million in aid for the victims of humanitarian crises in the DRC, including today’s allocation. In addition, EU Member States provided an additional €91.57 million in the last twelve months.

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