LILONGWE – A new project to establish best practices for tackling stunting is being launched in Malawi today. Recurrent food insecurity, poor dietary diversity and repeated illness are among the root causes of stunting (low growth for age) among nearly 1 million Malawian children under five – almost half the country’s children in this age group.
The project, implemented in Ntchisi district in Malawi’s central region, will reach 66,000 mothers and children over three-and-a-half years. It is designed to reduce stunting in the district by 5-10 percent as well as build evidence for the best ways of tackling the problem. Having been launched in Malawi, which has one of the highest rates of stunting in the world, the project will be introduced to Mozambique later in the year.
Malawi is currently experiencing a deteriorating food security situation following low crop production as a result of long dry spells and floods and high food prices. Now, during the height of the ‘lean season,’ the months before March when the next harvest is due, WFP is providing food assistance to more than 1.8 million Malawians.