On Thursday, the World Bank approved a 178.1 million US dollar loan to support the Philippines’ efforts to combat malnutrition.
The Washington-based bank stated that it will support the delivery of nutrition and health care services at the primary care and community levels to reduce stunting, which is defined as a prolonged nutritional deficiency in infants and young children.
“The persistence of high levels of childhood undernutrition in the Philippines, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, could lead to a significant increase in the country’s inequality of opportunities,” said World Bank Country Director Name Diop.
Diop stated that improving children’s nutritional status is critical to the Southeast Asian country’s goals of increasing human capital while strengthening economic recovery and long-term growth prospects.
Global food prices, which have been rising since the second half of 2020, have reached a new high this year, posing a threat to global food security.
Millions of children “will face an increased risk of malnutrition unless immediate action is taken,” the bank warned.