The Government of Japan signed a Grant Agreement with the World Food Programme (WFP) in Accra to support Ghana’s nutrition improvement campaign with USD 4.5 million. Titled the “Project for Universal Nutrition and Health Coverage through Sustainable Systems for Nutrition Improvement,” the campaign will strive to improve nutrition in the most vulnerable population in underserved communities across Ghana.

Ambassador of Japan to Ghana H.E. Tsutomu Himeno and WFP Representative Ad Interim and Officer-in-Charge Ms. Anna Mukiibi-Bunnya signed the documentation for the grant in Accra. Ambassador Himeno underlined the importance the Government of Japan attaches to health and nutrition.

“The Government of Japan considers health and nutrition as vital elements that enhance human security and safeguards dignity, therefore it supports this very important project . We applaud the implementers of the previous project for the success, leading to the new initiative and we are confident that this programme will be a great success.”

H.E. Tsutomu Himeno | Ambassador of Japan to Ghana

Ambassador Himeno applauded the implementers of the previous nutrition project for the success, which open doors to the new initiative and was confident the new program would be a great success. He pledged the Government of Japan’s continuous support to Ghana in improving health and nutrition among the vulnerable.

Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Health Mr. Mahama Seini expressed gratitude to the Government of Japan for supporting the promotion of the health and well-being of Ghanaians over the past years, especially in improving the nutritional status and overall well-being of vulnerable women, children and adolescent girls. Mr. Seini pledged the Ghana government’s commitment to the successful implementation of the project. 

The project is a public–private partnership that involves Ghana’s Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, World Food Programme, KOKO Plus Foundation and Japanese Private Organizations, NEC and Sysmex Corporation. Ms. Anna Mukiibi-Bunnya, Interim World Food Program Representative and Officer-in-Charge, Accra, commended the government and people of Japan for the consistent funding of the WFP activities in Ghana to improve the Ghana’s nutritional status, especially among the most vulnerable.

“Thanks to your generosity, programs have been implemented to explore local food-based approaches to nutrition and to reduce stunting and micronutrient deficiencies using good quality locally produced specialised nutritious foods, protein and micronutrient powder, and Social and Behaviour Change Communication.”

Ms. Anna Mukiibi-Bunnya | World Food Program Representative Ad Interim and Officer-in-Charge, Accra, Ghana

Ms. Mukiibi-Bunnya said through this new project, quality nutrition and health services would be made accessible to over 250,000 people by marketing and providing nutritious foods and micro-nutrient supplements, livelihood initiatives, innovative diagnostic services and social behavior change communication.

Ms. Mukiibi-Bunnya explained that 7,500 vulnerable pregnant and nursing mothers, children and adolescent girls, would also be supported to access nutritious foods through a voucher scheme. WFP will implement the project in 90 districts and eight administrative regions namely Greater Accra, Ashanti, Central, Bono East, Ahafo, Northern, Upper East, Western and Volta Regions, she said. The new nutrition project will pivot by using Social and Behaviour Change Communication to inform, educate and change habits and will reach more than 200,000 individuals who will receive nutrition education and counselling and get the opportunity to buy KOKO Plus to boost child growth and development.

KOKO Plus is a nutritious food supplement for children aged six months to two years and has been scientifically demonstrated to help prevent infant malnutrition, particularly stunting, anaemia and acute infection. It is locally produced from locally available ingredients (soybean) to improve  amino acid balance. The product is affordable and accessible to meet the needs of local communities. The Country Director of KOKO Plus Foundation, Yusuke Takahashi said the future of a nation depends on a healthy and well nourished population which is realized when healthy diets are provided from infancy.