4 October, 2020
A Primary School in the Gawi District of East Sepik Province will now benefit from a program initiated by the family of the Prime Minister James Marape.
Prime Minister Marape said seeing malnutrition (under nutrition) made him very sad that he and his family will be starting up a school feeding program for the children who attend Kandige Primary School.
“There is food in Kandige and the Sepik River but there is no variety of food and the nutritional value of a balanced diet is lacking.”
National Statistics show that 38% of the population of Papua New Guinea suffer from stunted growth and it is not because of food shortage but rather, lack of a balanced diet.
The PM said his son will start the program at the school to ensure that every child that attends a day of school is given a balanced meal before they go home at the end of the day.
This initiative is expected to be an example to other like-minded individuals, communities or organizations to alleviate and change the country’s statistics on growth stunt and malnutrition.
The PM pledge to do the same program for all schools in his Tari-Pori Electorate.
According to UNICEF, malnutrition (under nutrition) rates in Papua New Guinea are unacceptably high and is an underlying factor in 33% of illnesses and deaths, particularly for children under five years of age.
The National Government has developed the National Nutrition Policy 2016-2026 and a Strategic Action Plan 2018 – 2022, with help from UNICEF to address the issue.
The Strategic Action Plan is currently being implemented in the Eastern Highlands Province and is reported to be a success.