Members of Parliament who converged at Lilongwe Hotel were shocked with acute malnutrition in under-five children caused by food shortages.
Budget analysis by Civil Society Organization Nutrition Alliance invited the members of Parliament from various subcommittees in order for them to appreciate the levels of malnutrition in the country.
In the same meeting CSONA gave a detailed presentation where it was revealed that 73 % of programme funding at the Ministry of Gender, Disability, Children, and Social Welfare, is used for salaries and emoluments.
Presenting the findings to budgetary committee of parliament, CSONA official, January Mvula said only 20% of program support is being spen ont Social and economic empowerment.
“While only 10% is spent on gender mainstreaming. This. Money is too little to fight malnutrition,” said Mvula.
Mvula queried about K317Million allocated to early child development saying “There is nothing on the ground that we can show that the money has been used.”
Mvula said most of the ECD programs at the ministry is being run by different donors on off budget arrangement.
Mvula said their analysis has also revealed that money which the ministry gave to the ministry of education science and technology, to implement educational programmes is also said to have been handed over to treasury bringing further complications on the whereabouts of the money.
In his presentation, Mvula reminded Malawi Government on various commitment on nutrition.
“Government promised to increased budget allocation from 01.0% to 0.3% by 2020 increasing budget transparency to nutrition by 2014.”
In an interview, CSONA advocacy officer, Joseph Gausi said, currently 1.4 million children are undernourished.
Chairperson of Parliamentary committee on Nutrition Deus Gumba commended CSONA for organising the interface, saying there is need for Members of Parliament to appreciate what action was being done on nutrition.
Gumba promised to share findings of the analysis in parliament as one way of mapping forward.
Speaking in Dowa during a global day of action for Nutrition in Traditional Authority Chakhaza CSONA National Coordinator Mtisunge Zimpita, said stunting or malnutrition is a big problem in Malawi affecting almost half of the population.
“Previously Malawi stood at over 42% of undernourishment and stunting but thanks to Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) that saw the reduction of stunting and malnutrition from 42% to 37%,” said Zimpita.
The National Coordinator further said stunted child does not reach his or her full level of growth and cannot positively contribute to the nation hence the need for a political will to address the issue.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :