Dar es Salaam, 13th July 2023. The UN World Food Programme and Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), in support of the implementation of Nutrition and Economic Empowerment Activities in Zanzibar.
As statistics show, the United Republic of Tanzania is currently facing nutritional challenges, whereby, stunting affects more than 30% of under five children. (This is according to the TDHMIS report of 2022). For the case of Zanzibar, the nutrition percentages shows that 7% of under five children are wasted (low weight for height), which is more than the 4% rate for Tanzania mainland. Additionally, Zanzibar has unacceptably high levels of overweight and obesity among women of reproductive age at 41.8%, much higher than the national average of 31.7%. All these challenges are being addressed through various multi-sectoral nutrition plans and initiatives, including those implemented by Mkapa Foundation in partnership with the government.
As Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation (BMF) enters this strategic partnership with World Food Program (WFP), the implementation of nutrition and economic empowerment are expected to benefit 2 districts in 2 Regions of Zanzibar. We envision the project to make an impact through the designed intervention have been informed by evidence and data as well as prioritized strategies of the
Government at all levels in alignment with respective National guideline and plans further effective engagement and local led solutions have been and will be applied throughout the implementation of this projects. The intervention under this partnership includes the development and customisation of the VHND Guideline, that will be used with to provide minimum package of interventions under this activity and there after promoted for scale up national wide. Empower national, local and community structures on sustainable nutrition program, Engagement of 80 community health workers sensitization, education, linkages between the facilities and communities, enhancing sustainable community engagement that .
Furthermore, the project will empower women that are engage in seaweed farming mostly of seaweed farmers in Zanzibar are women through identifying the gaps and barriers in the whole value chain of the seaweed local market and jointly develop sustainable strategies to address the barriers and the gaps. Underscoring the importance of generating workable evidence to inform impactful decisions the project will package the evidence and conduct targeted advocacy at all levels to improve collective prioritization decision as well as inform policies for wider impact, scalability, and sustainability.
For the first six months under this partnership, 80 shehias in 2 districts (40 shehia per district) will be reached including the National level interventions. The implementation of this project will be done by Mkapa Foundation as the main technical institution and the Zanzibar Maisha Bora Foundation as a local implementer.
Mkapa Foundation appreciates the commitment of WFP and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar in propelling the economic development of the people of Zanzibar. With appropriate and more capacity, Mkapa Foundation shall extend the coverage both in scope and geographically beyond this first six months and we envision the extended period will make more sustained impact particularly on the following.
- Building wider local capacities at both national subnational level
- Support the Revolution Government of Zanzibar to implement identified strategies from the seaweed local market analysis – to be established under this scope.
- Build on the evidence, knowledge and impacts generated through this initial scope to extend to targeted and informed advocacy to promote further integration, scalability and prioritizing financing for the nutrition and economic empowerment initiatives, this includes roll out of the school feeding program in completion of the national strategy.
- Consideration for supporting nutrition and sustainable nutrition and local food security initiatives targeting women, children-under-fives, and Adolescents in mainland, building from innovative and successful initiatives implemented by BMF as well as other stakeholders in mainland- especially the Southern part of Tanzania.