WASHINGTON, March 29, 2012 – Senegal’s Nutrition Enhancement Project II (NEP), which was implemented in 2007, has been helping to improve the nutritional status of vulnerable people in poor urban and rural areas, and particularly promoting healthy growth among children under the age of five.
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved an additional IDA* credit of US$10 million for the program, which has reached more than 1 million children under age five with low-cost high-impact measures to improve nutrition.
With help from local governments and Community Executing Agencies, 1,900 community nutrition sites have been set up , mobilizing over 4,300 community nutrition volunteers. The program brought down underweight malnutrition rates in intervention areas to 11 percent, compared to the national average of 15 percent.
Community health and nutrition workers have provided growth-monitoring services, counseling to pregnant women and mothers of young children, and delivered essential services such as vaccination, de-worming and micronutrient supplementation.
According to Menno Mulder-Sibanda, Task team leader, “the Senegal NEP II is enhancing community-based nutrition and supports a package of community-based food, health and nutrition activities. The approach has worked well in Senegal because implementation is ensured at community level, involves local governments in partnership with civil society, and is guided by a robust monitoring and implementation framework. As a result, local actors are able to manage nutrition improvements in their own child population”.
He added that the additional credit would help implement modified and additional project activities to enhance household food security, including homestead gardens, grain banks, as well as small-scale interventions to improve hygiene, sanitation and water, which cannot be funded under the initial project.
The community-based nutrition program is implemented by 326 local governments in partnership with 18 Community Executing Agencies in all 14 Regions and 69 Districts through grant subprojects. The project has also collaborated with local NGOs to extend nutrition and growth promotion into rural areas in three regions: Fatick, Kaolack, and Kolda. It has contracted 12 NGOs to implement 34 district-level subprojects, while collaborating closely with local government.
For his part, Abdoulaye Ka, National Coordinator of the Cellule de Lutte contre la Malnutrition (CLM, the unit in the Prime Minister office combating malnutrition), “this support from World Bank is essential as it will allow the program to cover 80 percent of children under five years in the rural areas and above all to maintain our achievements”.