A number of interventions have been taken by government, non-government, private and other stakeholders in addressing malnutrition in Uganda. Most of the interventions however were curative in nature including food supplementation, commercial fortification, and dietary diversity among others. However, affordable solutions that affect the rural most vulnerable have been inadequate.
Anaemia is a serious concern for children because it can impair cognitive development, stunt growth, and increase morbidity from infectious diseases. From the 2016 UDHS report, half of children age 6-59 months (53 percent) suffered from some degree of anaemia. The same report expresses that Children in rural areas are more likely to be anaemic than those in urban areas (54 percent and 48 percent, respectively). More alarming too is one in three women age 15-49 (32 percent) are anaemic, with more women in rural areas more anaemic than those in urban areas (33 percent and 27 percent, respectively). On the general nutrition status of children, 29 percent of children under 5 are considered to be stunted. Furthermore, Stunting is greater among children in rural areas (30 percent) than urban areas (24 percent).
Having successfully transited the Developing and Disseminating biofortified Crops (DDBC) project in 2016, World Vision in collaboration with HarvestPlus has received funding from USAID Feed the Future Initiative to implement five-year Meals for Nutrition in Uganda (MENU) the Biofortified Solutions project in Uganda. Biofortification has continuously proven to provide adequate vitamins and minerals to vulnerable mothers and children in ending malnutrition. Whereas HarvestPlus leads in developing biofortified crops, World Vision will continuously deliver and promote production and consumption such crops to rural vulnerable households targeting children under the age of five and women in reproductive age.
The project contributes greatly to World Vision Uganda five year (2016-20) Strategy with objective “To contribute to improved household resilience, Protection and sustainable well-being of 6,000,000 children especially the most vulnerable by 2020”. Specifically the project directly contributes to two strategic objectives;
- To improve the health and nutrition status of 6,000,000 children under 5 years, adolescents and women of reproductive age by 2020
- Improved livelihood resilience of 181,167 smaller holder farmers and agro pastoralists households and youth, for economic empowerment by 2020 (Farming as a business)