聯合國兒童基金會與業界聯手 應付空前高漲的營養品供應需求

 

聯合國兒童基金會與業界聯手 應付空前高漲的營養品供應需求

哥本哈根/香港,2011年10月4日——聯合國兒童基金會(UNICEF)今日召集近百名合作夥伴,商討對策應付前所未見的營養品需求,又呼籲各聯合國組織、民間團體、學界和營養品業界加強合作。

A health worker weighs a girl toddler in a sling-scale in the town of Bétou in the northern Likouala Province. The growth-monitoring activity is part of health and nutrition interventions being provided in the area by the Italian logging concession Likouala Timber. The company, which has concessions for 525,000 hectares of forest land, provides therapeutic food and other health and nutritional services for sick and malnourished children, as well as maternal and general health information. It also supports a skills-training project for young people. An estimated 10,000 people live in the riverside town. In May 2009 in the Republic of the Congo, about half of the countrys 3.7 million people continue to live in poverty, and a large portion of inhabitants more than half of them children remain without basic social services. Despite progress in the areas of health, nutrition, education and basic child protection, access to safe water and sanitation is lacking, and malnutrition and disease remain chronic and widespread. Conflict in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo has also resulted in an influx of refugees into Likouala Province, a remote northern region comprised primarily of indigenous forest. Likouala, which also shares borders with Cameroon and the Central African Republic, is one of the countrys poorest and least-developed areas, with an estimated 165,000295,000 inhabitants who are mostly local Bantu and indigenous Baka. Semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers, the Baka, who represent about 10 per cent of the overall population, live mainly in and around the forest and continue to face widespread discrimination. The destruction of large parts of their natural habitat (from logging, poaching and illegal cultivation) also threatens their way of life. Working with the Government, local authorities, NGOs and other partners, UNICEF supports health, nutrition, water and sanitation, education, protection and other interventions, including in hard-to-access communities; and also advocates to promote indigenous as well as other child rights.

即食營養治療食品、兒童體重磅等有效延續生命物資的需求創出歷史新高,有見及此,UNICEF因應不同社區需求的緩急輕重,向營養品業界提供最新的資料,務求各社區均能獲得合適的補給品。

有見全球逾2,000萬名兒童患上嚴重急性營養不良,UNICEF供應部主任Shanelle Hall女士表示,「非洲之角」的糧食危機「給我們上了沉重的一課,營養品補給計劃必需持續無間地進行,而在緊急事件發生時,我們更加要迅速作出回應。」

UNICEF為全球購置80%的即食營養治療食品,此項食品是5歲以下嚴重急性營養不良兒童的最佳治療。她續指:「我們期望營養品的供應量會在2012年底前能較2010年增加5成,可惜這個數目只能照顧到15%饑餓兒童的需要。」

「我們需與合作夥伴和供應業界通力合作,透過增加供應量、鼓勵新供應商加入和支援營養品的創新發展,以確保供求得以相符。」Shanelle Hall女士敦促營養品業界,「協助民間團體、各國政府及聯合國,尋求解決是次人道危機的方案。」Four-year-old Mame Koroma, who is malnourished, consumes a ready-to-eat therapeutic food at the Kailahun Government Hospital in Kailahun, a town in Kailahun District. In March 2011 in Sierra Leone, the country commemorated the ten year anniversary of the end of its civil war, which left 50,000 dead and 10,000 amputated. Although progress has been made since the wars end, Sierra Leone still ranks at the bottom of the 2010 Human Development Index. Health centres remain under-resourced, and medical care remains too expensive and inaccessible for many people. The countrys under-five mortality rate is fifth highest in the world, maternal mortality is among the worlds worst as well, and over a third of children under age five suffer stunting due to poor nutrition. According to 2008 data, only 49 per cent of the population uses improved drinking water sources, and only 13 per cent have access to improved sanitation facilities. Education systems are also deficient, with an insufficient number of schools and trained teachers. Girls face additional barriers to education, including high rates of early marriage and teen pregnancy, extra fees, and sexual abuse and exploitation in schools. UNICEF is working with the Government and partners to improve conditions for Sierra Leones children, supporting programmes that train teachers and school managers and that strengthen community-based health systems. UNICEF also supports a Government programme, launched in April 2010, that abolishes fees for primary health services for pregnant and lactating women and all children under age five.

另外,與會者亦針對玉米黃豆粉混合品等營養補充食品的全球生產情況作出討論,這些補充食品曾在「非洲之角」旱災和索馬里饑荒中為數以萬計的家庭提供所需營養。一連兩日的會議涵蓋了不少其他實質議題,包括探討由無國界醫生、聯合國世界糧食計劃署和UNICEF聯手,推出營養治療和補給品的統一質量保證系統。預計此系統能令審批供應商的過程更有效率,亦會提升營養品的品質至最高水平。

UNICEF供應部的網頁上亦刊載了12年來的在國際上購置即食營養治療食品價目和供應商的名單。