Poe prods gov’t to avert ill effects of hunger in poor children

Poe prods gov’t to avert ill effects of hunger in poor children

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Sen. Grace Poe prodded the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger to
heighten ongoing efforts to ensure that Filipino children do not
continue to suffer from the scourge of hunger and malnutrition amid
the pandemic.

The senator stressed that the country needs a focused, community-based
approach in addressing the problem of malnutrition in Filipino
children, led and backed by the whole of government.

“Hunger is a reality in this pandemic and children in poorer families
are worse off. With the soaring prices of pork, chicken and fish,
malnutrition in children is a certainty unless we work now to stave it
off,” said Poe, a child welfare advocate.

In a study released last week, the World Bank said that acute
malnutrition or wasting among Filipino children is already happening
and the toll it takes on their young bodies will only be seen in the
next years.

“Kapakanan ng tao ang dapat laging pangunahing layunin ng pamahalaan,
lalo na ang pagkalinga sa ating mga musmos para di sila mapag-iwanan,”
Poe reminded.

Challenges in the distribution of cash subsidies and the lack of
adequate sources of livelihood at the height of the lockdown last year
affected the most vulnerable population, especially poor children.

“Amid the government vowing to keep the economy afloat and make it
rebound, there hasn’t been enough attention on the impact of the
pandemic on poor children and their nutrition,” Poe noted.

The World Bank study said poverty is one of the most important causes
of undernutrition and that four out of 10 children in poor households
are stunted.

“Children in poor families need all the help we all can give.
Attending to their nutrition and growth must be our collaborative
commitment,” Poe, author of the Masustansiyang Pagkain para sa Batang
Pilipino Act, said. (ai/mtvn)

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