World Bank gives Cote d’Ivoire push to increase coverage of early childhood nutrition
The World Bank has approved a total amount of $60.4 million (about FCFA32 billion) in the form of a credit from the International Development Association (IDA--$50 million), and a grant from the Power of Nutrition Trust Fund ($10.4 million), to support the government of Cote d’Ivoire in its efforts to improve nutrition, cognitive development and education attainment for vulnerable children.
The newly approved Multisectoral Nutrition and Child Development Project (MNCDP) will help increase the coverage of early childhood nutrition and development interventions in fourteen administrative regions located in the northern and central parts of Cote d’Ivoire where chronic malnutrition among children under 5 years of age is most prevalent.
“Chronic malnutrition has a negative impact on children and impedes their normal development and growth, with increased risks of illness and death, poor cognitive development, lower educational attainment, lower productivity in their adulthood, and costs the economy of Cote d’Ivoire about $970 million every year. We are happy to help the government address this issue of chronic malnutrition as well as socio-cognitive development through parental education and stimulation to ensure an optimal nutrition status for vulnerable children and improve their well-being so they can more productively contribute towards the country’s sustainable and inclusive development in their adulthood,” said Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director for Cote d’Ivoire.
Most specifically, the MNCDP will support community-based nutrition and stimulation through the development of actions centered on nurturing care, child growth promotion and cognitive development, child feeding practices, and food diversification. It will also support nutrition service delivery by ensuring adequate supply of quality primary-level services related to maternal and child health and nutrition, supporting agricultural extension on household food production to promote dietary diversification, and providing safety nets for poor and vulnerable women and children.
A results-based financing will be provided to help increase the volume and quality of health and nutrition services, with a specific focus on maternal, neonatal and child health and nutrition interventions. Finally, the new project will help strengthen the capacities for key stakeholders that are part of the operational coordination platforms for investments and operations on early child growth, nutrition and development at the national, regional and sub-regional levels.
The MNCDP is well aligned with Cote d’Ivoire’s National Multisectoral Nutrition Plan (PNMN 2016-2020) aimed inter alia at improving the nutritional status of the population, reducing the prevalence of stunted growth among children under 5 years of age, and fighting severe malnutrition. It is also in line with the World Bank’s Country Partnership Framework (2016-2019) which identifies building human capital as one of the two key pathways to achieve the twin goals of eliminating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity in Cote d’Ivoire, and calls for investments for improving the delivery of quality health, nutrition and water services.