Italy contributes €4.3m to eradicate polio and improve child nutrition in Afghanistan
By Khaama Press - Tue Nov 14 2017, 12:26 pm
According to a statement by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 2.5 million euros will go to UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), which are both working in the framework of the National Emergency Action Plan for Polio (NEAP) aimed at interrupting the disease transmission in Afghanistan.
The statement further added that the remaining 1.8 million euro have been granted to UNICEF to improve the coverage and quality of nutrition services for children under five, adolescent girls and mothers in the most deprived provinces.
According to UNICEF, in Afghanistan 41 per cent of children are stunted and a further 1.2 million malnourished. Stunting and malnutrition have immediate and long-term impact on a child’s physical and mental wellbeing.
If the brain is underdeveloped by the age of two, it is irreversible and cannot be repaired, UNICEF said, adding that malnourished children are also much more susceptible to diseases, such as polio and other infectious sickness.
UNICEF says the new funding will play a critical role in preventing further cases of malnutrition and actively identifying cases for treatment. This includes strengthening community-based nutrition programming, with a focus on maternal nutrition, and infant and young child feeding practices, as part of an integrated management of acute malnutrition.