MONROVIA, LIBERIA-SHALOM has conducted two consultative meetings with relevant Government Ministries, especially those divisions on nutrition.
The SHALOM team conducted the meetings with the Ministry of Agriculture Food Security and Nutrition Division, including the Ministry of Health Division of 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 meetings separately at the two occasions.
Mr. Massally said the gathering was basically intended to review a research that was conducted by a consultant contracted by Irish Aid, due to the nutrition status in Liberia.
According to him, the participants were able to focus on finding conduct from of the research that could be used in future intervention across the country, as a means of striving to reduce malnutrition .
The SHALOM Boss 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 both meetings were able to listen to authorities of the Ministry of Health Nutrition Division and that of the Ministry of Agriculture Food Security Division, on prospect and challenges of the two divisions.
According to him, the Nutritional Research conducted by a 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 also said that because it is imperative on the part of the Liberian Government to formulate policies to be formulated 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 for Nutrition Division at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Anette Brimah Davies, indicated that her division looks forward to partners, including Water Aid for stronger collaboration in the area of advocacy, as a means for nutrition to be a top priority .
She said with the fact that nutrition has been captured into the national agenda, that shows that the government has ownership for nutrition activities in Liberia.
Madam Davies 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 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 collaboration, 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 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 meeting, both Agriculture and Health Ministries highlighted the lack of budgetary allocation, logistic, among others, as major challenges they are facing among others.