The Netherlands and UNICEF launch new 20 million Euro programme that seeks sustainable solutions to the malnutrition crisis in Sudan

05 March 2023
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UNICEF Sudan/2023/Mahmoud

KHARTOUM, 7 March 2023 - The Netherlands and UNICEF Sudan launched on the 7th of March in Port Sudan the ‘No Time to Waste’ Programme, focused on the prevention, early detection and treatment of malnutrition. 

Malnutrition is a major concern in many parts of Sudan. In the past 30 years, the number of children who are stunted and wasted actually increased. Today, more than three million children in Sudan are malnourished of whom 610,000 are severely wasted. 

‘No Time to Waste’ is created to prevent malnutrition, especially severe wasting, through supporting community-based mother support groups, improving diet diversity through home gardens, and training health and nutrition workers. ‘No Time to Waste’ provides lifesaving ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) – a peanut butter paste – used to treat children with severe wasting. As Sudan is one of the main producers of peanuts worldwide, UNICEF Sudan with support from The Netherlands and other donors, is scaling-up local production of RUTF.

“Studies show that improving nutrition not only saves lives but is also a smart investment: every USD 1 invested in nutrition provides USD 10 in returns for the country”, says Mandeep O’Brien, UNICEF Representative in Sudan. “UNICEF is deeply grateful for the timely support from The Netherlands for addressing the malnutrition crisis in Sudan.”

‘No Time to Waste’ offers an effective way of improving the nutrition status of people across the country’, says Dutch Ambassador Irma van Dueren. “As food and nutrition security is one of the core focus areas of the Dutch efforts in Sudan, we are committed to reduce malnutrition in the most vulnerable children and women in the reproductive age through this programme. We are thankful to team up with UNICEF, which has been an excellent partner because now is the time to act together.”

The programme will be implemented in Kassala, Khartoum, North Darfur, Red Sea and South Kordofan states.

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