USAID launches project to tackle malnutrition

Edung Lodio and her children grind maize for supper at their village in Lokwamusing, Turkana County.

The United States through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Office of Food For Peace (FFP), has initiated a new programme to reduce acute malnutrition in Northern Kenya counties.

The programme dubbed ‘Nawiri’ seeks sustainable solutions that go beyond humanitarian assistance and will run for five years. The initiative, which targets to alleviate the root of food insecurity and malnutrition challenges will be rolled out in Isiolo, Marsabit, Samburu and Turkana counties.

USAID will co-design and innovate with the community and local government stakeholders. The programme will support communities to solve own challenges to create more sustainable solutions while aligning with the government’s priorities.

“The US government is changing the way we work. We want our programmes to be co-created, co-implemented, and co-measured to address problems and solve them at the county level,” explained USAID Mission Director Mark Meassick while launching the programme yesterday in Lodwar town, Turkana. He said acute malnutrition rates in northern Kenya are currently at or above emergency levels and the causes of infant and child malnutrition are complex.

USAID also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Turkana County as a joint commitment to the Kenyan-led development programme. “The MoU will also provide a framework to guide the new way that USAID and the county will work together going forward.

Mercy Corps is the lead implementing partner in Samburu and Turkana and Catholic Relief Services is the lead partner in Isiolo and Marsabit.