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PHL in line for $200 million World Bank loan to fund nutrition program

PHILSTAR

The World Bank is set to grant a fresh $200 million loan to the Philippines for nutrition programs that will reduce the undernourished population.

According to a bank report, the loan was endorsed by Ndiame Diop, World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines and Thailand, on Nov. 3.

The World Bank said $127.3 million of the loan will go to the project’s first component, which is enhancing nutrition service delivery through primary health care integration. This will be distributed to local government units that are tasked to implement nutrition interventions as well as provide essential maternal and child health services.

The second component will focus on Community-Based Nutrition Service Delivery, for which $62.1 million will be allocated.

Funds will be disbursed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development to communities for barangay health and nutrition plans.

The remaining $10.6 million will strengthen the lead implementing agencies including the DSWD and the Department of Health, as well as for monitoring, evaluation, and communication.

“Stunting (because of malnutrition) has long-term adverse developmental impacts that far surpass childhood, and has been linked to slower learning outcomes, poor academic performance, and lower productivity and wages in adulthood,” the World Bank said.

“Stunted children are unable to develop their human capital to the full potential, with negative consequences on the aggregate level in terms of labor market productivity and economic growth,” it added.

The project’s success will be gauged through indicators including prenatal care for pregnant women. Children aged six to 23 months who are part of the project will also be monitored to verify if meet the age-appropriate dietary norms. — Luz Wendy Noble

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