Hanoi, November 10, 2016 - Save the Children will sign the Grant Agreement with World Bank for the implementation of Northern Mountain Integrated Child Nutrition Improvement Project in Yen Bai and Son La Province (2017 - 2021). The total budget is USD 2.82 mil from Japan Social Development Fund through World Bank. Save the Children will work in partnership with Maternal and Child Health Department, Ministry of Health at national level and with Department of Health and Department of Agriculture and Rural Development at provincial level, in coordination with Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs and Ministry of Planning and Investment.
Ethnic minorities are among the most marginalized groups in the country and despite the impressive national economic growth in the past decade, these groups continue to experience persistent poverty, limited access to basic services, and high levels of malnutrition and food insecurity. ‘Addressing child malnutrition is extremely important at personal level for each child, because it affects health, brain development, life expectancy and future productivity. It is also important from socio-economic perspective in order to stop the inter-generational cycle of poverty and decrease income disparities in the society.’ Dragana Strinic - Save the Children Country Director shared. “Eliminating malnutrition in mountainous and ethnic minority areas is essential for Vietnam to reach its goal of being a highly-productive, competitive and inclusive economy. Great gains have been made, but more is needed. With the combined efforts of ministries responsible for health, agriculture, water and sanitation, and with the support of development partners, I am confident that together we will cover this last mile.” Ousmane Dione – World Bank Country Director shared.
The primary beneficiaries of the proposed Project are children under five years of age, women of reproductive age, and pregnant women of ethnic minority groups Hmong, Dao and Thai, identified as having the most serious child stunting rates in the country (ranging from 40 to 55 percent). The Project will target 20 communes comprising approximately 200 villages in the four districts of Yen Bai and Son La provinces. The estimated number of direct beneficiaries is 142,000. Other beneficiaries include the entire population of the four districts (375,000 people), including the immediate family members of the primary beneficiaries, villagers in the target communes, and health and agriculture government officials working in the target areas.
The project will adopt an integrated approach in addressing the under nutrition of children by combining various interventions such as behavior change campaign, promotion of exclusive breast feeding, improving the infant and young child feeding practices and diversity of diet through the development of home gardens. The implementation of this project will call for the participation of multi-sectoral government agencies as well as the full participation of the community members. Through this approach, Save the Children is hoping to demonstrate a more comprehensive way of addressing the under nutrition of ethnic minority children.