In Cameroon, some 1, 400, 000 children below the age of five are suffering from malnutrition. The situation is alarming in seven out of the ten regions of the country, most particularly in the Northern and East Regions. With the negative impact of malnutrition to the development of a country, the Federal Republic of Germany, through its development agency, KFW Entwicklungsbank, disbursed some 8 million Euros (about FCFA 4 billion) to address the degrading nutrition situation of refugees in the Northern and East Regions which of recent have witnessed an increase in refugees from the Central Africa Republic and Nigeria as well as internally displaced Cameroonians because of the Boko Haram violence.
With financial support from the German government, partners in the sector gathered in Yaounde yesterday August 31, 2016 to look for ways to fight against malnutrition in zones undergoing humanitarian crises. The Country Representative of UNICEF, Mrs Félicité Tchibindat said malnutrition is not only a health issue, but a developmental problem for any country. According to Félicité Tchibindat, malnourished children experience developmental delays, weight-loss and illnesses as a result of inadequate intake of protein, calories and other nutrients. They are at risk for a variety of short-term implications which eventually give way to long-term complications, such as growth and cognitive delays.
With cognitive complications such as brain development, the Director of Cooperation and Regional Integration at the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Dr Charles Assamba Ongodo said a child with an impaired school performance, reduced language development and IQ scores cannot contribute to the development of the country.