Solutions to the root economic causes of malnutrition
Economics has long been attributed as the leading cause of malnutrition in both the developed and developing world. Below are strategies that are being employed or suggested to fight malnutrition.
Economic planning is required in order for government and aid funding to reach the appropriate areas with as minimal wastage as possible. If countries plan their economies properly they will be better off in the long term even if it means making temporary sacrifices. Minimization of poverty should be kept as a tier 1 goal because it is this which is the primary cause of malnutrition. Also, richer governments with proper planning can provide for the countries poor through social security – schemes seen only in developed worlds.
An excellent example of this can be seen from a World Health Organization "10 Step Rapid Action Plan"
Quoting the pdf document: http://www.who.int/nmh/media/speeches/nmh_adg_speech_SCN_2006_slides.pdf
10. Integrating nutrition into essential case, treatment and support package for people living with HIV/AIDS
Planning future global aid has and is a proven method for successful implementation of support for aid programs worldwide. This is an objective both governments and aid organizations need to abide by. These future aid plans should be focusing on the longer term solutions regarding infrastructure, agriculture and food security instead of heavy investment in short-term solutions.
Global planning is another very important longer-term solution to malnutrition because it allows developed countries with proven planning strategies to share their expertise with developing countries. Ultimately this leads to developing countries adopting strategies better than their current ones and a better quality of life for its people.
Although national governments are responsible for the country as a whole, local governments are ultimately where the actual “fixing” takes place. It is at this level where people are exposed to such things as aid, education etc and thus even if national government planning is successful and local government is not then no-one will benefit from anything. Communities that plan are communities whose people are much better off – This can be observed in the Plan Indonesia Case Study where certain community members are educated in good nutritional practices and share their knowledge to the rest of the community.
To provide a starting block for better nutritional practices in developing nations, properly adequate infrastructure is needed for such things as farming and transportation of food. Because it is largely the governments in these developing nations which own the majority of the country’s infrastructure it is up to them to protect and improve it. Also things such as government subsidies for farmers, provides aid as well as incentive for them to improve farming practices. Care should be taken however to ensure too much focus is on spent on specific strategies -an example this can be seen in our Malawi Case Study.
Lack of access due to inadequate road networks in developing countries is an important factor regarding distribution of aid. Firstly, the governments of the countries involved must be both motivated and committed to increase the quality of road networks. For this to work 3rd parties such as donor nations must provide a list of incentives and benefits to the recipient nations as a catalyst for motivation. Often aid cannot be delivered to areas because insufficient infrastructure exists. Road's may be unpaved and therefore prevent easy transportation.
Specific planning regarding equipment necessary roadwork and appropriate training for workers is needed in order for such initiatives to succeed .We suggest searching for petitions or if you are part of an organization with international ties to advocate ideas regarding food distribution.
|Developing Country Specific Example: Public Markets|
|The benefits: Public markets with masses of retailers – generally small scale independents. These can have the effect of boosting community confidence. These events would be more successful with better planning and management.
Proper Planning: Proper planning is one of the key factors in successful markets because it minimizes errors occurring and allows these kinds of markets to be successful in the long term. The reasons this kind of market has failed in the past is because rent costs were too high for small independents, the location of the market was such that the seller could not justify relocation, and ineffective market space utilization.
Market guidelines: Market guidelines ensure only smaller scale independent retailers such as local farmers take advantage of public markets. The planning stage should take into consideration who is eligible to sell goods in the amount of space the market should take place.
Support: Support for this kind of market to be effective needs to be enough so proper planning can be done. It is up to the global community, in particular Developed nations and worldwide health organizations, to provide appropriate funding and even volunteers to help design and run these markets.
- “Major food supply and distribution problems”, (1999), FAO, http://www.fao.org/docrep/003/X6971E/x6971e04.htm
- “Nutrition: an input and foundation for health”, (2006), WHO, http://www.who.int/nmh/media/speeches/nmh_adg_speech_SCN_2006_slides.pdf
- “The hunger report 1995”,(1995), Ellen Messer & Peter Uvin, http://books.google.com.au/books?id=2dRNymRTxZIC&pg=PR20&lpg=PR20&dq=malnutrition+economic+planning&source=web&ots=O9Nu8x5xlc&sig=MG50GkVWPxv6c33GLECjTDmZB_8&hl=en