Oxfam challenges Councils to lobby for more budgetary allocations for nutrition sector

Oxfam Malawi has challenged District Councils to view the nutrition sector as a key component of development processes of the country.

Livelihoods and Resilient Manager for Oxfam, Steve Kuliyazi made the remarks Monday in Dowa during District Nutrition Coordinating Committee (DNCC) briefing meeting on the project introduction of Increasing Resource Allocation and Accountability for Nutrition Sector in Malawi Phase II.

He noted that most District Councils in the country have no proper budget lines for the nutrition sector saying this does not provide adequate support for the implementation of its programmes.

Kuliyazi added that for the country’s development to forge ahead Council needs to give priority to issues of nutrition in its development plans.

He hailed government for providing a 2.9 percent allocation for the 2021/2022 1 budget which give hope that the sector was being considered as a priority area.

Kuliyazi: most District Councils have no proper nutrition budget lines. Pic by Oxfam

“There is need to provide capacity building to members of DNCC members, Council, District Executive Committee (DEC) so that they should be able to lobby with the lobby members to ensure that the budgetary allocations for the council are increased,” Kuliyazi pointed out.

The Manager said the second phase of the project would run for two years from January 2022 to December 2023 with funding from Germany Cooperation through GIZ totaling 249,771 euros.

“The first phase of the project was implemented in Dowa, Dedza, and Salima with funding totaling 50,000 euros where issues of nutrition awareness were promoted at a community level,” Kuliyazi explained.

He believes the implementation second phase of the project would have a positive impact on the improvement of the nutrition status of the country.

Kuliyazi expressed concern that Dowa district has a stunting rate of 39.1 percent which is far above the 1 rate of 37 percent.  

Nutrition, HIV and AIDS Officer at the Department of Nutrition, HIV, and AIDS (DNHA), Catherine Tsoka said District Councils have faced funding challenges in the implementation of nutrition programmes.

Kamkodo: effective utilization of nutrition resources remains key. pic by Oxfam

She said the injection of the additional funding to the three councils would help in the advancement of nutrition issues within the districts.

Principal Nutrition, HIV and AIDS Officer (PNHAO) for Dowa, Lisungu Kamkodo said the effective utilization of nutrition resources would help the district to change its nutrition sector.

She said sometimes the council fails to implementation of nutrition programmes due to limited resources.