Bank loan

PHL awaiting $200m World Bank loan to fund nutrition program

PHILSTAR

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

According to a bank report, the loan was approved by Ndiame Diop, World Bank country director for Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, on November 3.

The World Bank said $127.3 million of the loan will go towards the first component of the project, which is to improve the delivery of nutrition services through the integration of primary health care. This will be distributed to local government units that are responsible for implementing nutrition interventions as well as providing 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.

The 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 key implementing agencies, including DSWD and the Ministry of Health, as well as for monitoring, evaluation and communication.

“Stunting (due to malnutrition) has adverse long-term developmental effects that extend far beyond childhood and have been linked to slower learning outcomes, poor school performance, and declining productivity and wages in adulthood,” the World Bank said.

“Stunted children are unable to fully develop their human capital, with overall negative consequences in terms of labor market productivity and economic growth,” he added.

The success of the project will be assessed using indicators, including prenatal care for pregnant women. Children aged six to 23 months who are part of the project will also be monitored to check if they are meeting age-appropriate dietary standards. — Luz Wendy Noble