Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares yesterday called for an intensified government-private sector partnership to effectively advance the fight against poverty and uphold children’s rights against abuses.
Poe made the call in observance of the National Children’s Month as she expresses belief extreme poverty is keeping families from nourishing their children.
“Poverty and malnutrition are greatly related. If the family doesn’t have resources, how can they afford to buy sufficient food for their children? And if children do not have nutritious and healthy food to eat, how can we expect them to have a healthy mind and body?” Poe made the query in a statement.
“In times of calamities, the economy takes a dip and the political situation is affected, but it is really the helpless children who suffer,” said the senator, who is running for president in the May 2016 elections.
Citing the National Nutrition Survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Poe said at least 2.45 million children aged five and below are underweight, 3.73 million experience delayed growth, and 970,000 are severely malnourished as of 2013.
Given the figures, Poe said it is imperative for the government, with the help of private sectors and organizations, to carry out livelihood programs that will make families financially capable to support the needs of the children.