Zim Needs Strong Domestic Funding For Nutrition- Civil Society

THE National Coordinator for Zimbabwe Civil Society Organisations Scaling Up Nutrition Alliance (ZCSOSUNA), Kudwakwashe Zombe says domestic funding towards nutrition in Zimbabwe was still very low, amidst indications that the national budget currently allocates a paltry 0.47% to nutrition.


By Michael Gwarisa

Governments around the world are expected to allocate at least 15 percent from the national budget to the health sector but Zimbabwe has been struggling to meet the benchmark a situation which has seen the sector turn its begging bowl to the donor community.

Briefing delegates during a nutrition budget report breakfast meeting in the capital, Zombe said Zimbabwe need to move away from donor reliance and develop domestic funding mechanisms for the health sector and nutrition in general.

“Government must increase the share of nutrition budget through the national budget from 0.47% of the total budget to 3% progressively from the 2019 national budget. There is need to develop mechanisms to increase nutrition spending per child as an approach to fight malnutrition/stunting and potential strategy to address long term challenges in nutrition.

“Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries should mainstream and integrate nutrition in their work. Government should increase nutrition investment in the three sectors from the current 6.4% since most rural households eat what they grow,” said Zombe.

He added that the fact that donors dominate investment in nutrition threatens the sustainability of positive outcomes achieved and the nutrition agenda in general.

“There is also need to explore mechanisms to increase spending on nutrition from 0.04% of the national budget in 2018 to 3% in three years beginning 2019 as well commitment to reaching the N4G commitment of US$30 per under-five child from the current US$0.9.

“Progressively match the additional cooperating partners’ resources through new and existing nutrition budget vote.”

He also called for more Investment in nutrition sensitive planning and budget to ensure that nutrition is addressed from a multi-sectoral angle as well as Investing in more sectors that significantly impact on nutrition outcomes such as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).

Meanwhile, Nutrition (SUN) Nutrition Officer, Tatenda Mafunga said there was need for conducting budget analysis exercises more frequently.

“The National Nutrition Strategy is costed and estimates the financial resources needed. Budget analysis exercises need to done more frequently and mapping on current spending still requires substantial analysis to identify both nutrition-specific and sensitive interventions

“More advocacy tools required- Cost of Hunger study. While a more detailed financial gap analysis is also needed, recent funding allocations are supporting the nutrition information system, nutrition governance, integration of nutrition agenda in the agriculture sector, and the promotion of national communication campaign on nutrition,” said Mafunga.

According to statistics, national stunting levels are over 26 percent with some districts recording over 35 percent.


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