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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Helps Hungry in Ghana

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation highly anticipates the probability that Africa can eliminate hunger by 2030. Investments by the Foundation have had a profound impact on Ghanaian and Sub-Saharan African government-led programs since 2009. These programs implement useful nutritional habits and information within communities. Bill and Melinda Gates refers to the Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) program as “the backbone of the African economy.”

Every seven out of 10 Sub-Saharan Africans are small farmers. Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) is one branch of HGSF sustaining innovative ways to feed schoolchildren in the nation while benefiting farmers and their families. Partnership for Child Development (PCD) creates school meal planners designed for easy access and usage by each user.

The online tool available at GSFP’s website provides locally available ingredients for users to select and design their preferred plan. They can find farmers by diet and cost. It is especially useful to program managers. Daily recommended consumption of specific nutrients as conditioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) is illustrated on gingerbread-children graphics for basic educational purposes.

The planner is also available by other means than internet access. There are 400 community health leaders talking with the public while handing out thousands of health posters and distributing radio-jingles. These teach organizers and families practical hygienic practices to keep children safe and healthy.

According to WHO, 13.4 percent of children less than 5 years of age were underweight in 2011. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gives substantial aid to the cause. The University of Michigan obtained a $3 million grant from the foundation in 2008.

The university long awaited the chance to enhance health and raise the capacity for governmental aptitude in Ghana. Their goal was to improve human resources by focusing on specific enhancement routes such as developing reliable data systems. They also sought to educate health workers.

In 2013, Gates met with PCD and GSFP representatives discussing concrete endeavors administered by HGSF. By meeting with local farmers, teachers and caterers, Gates learned how GSFP also helps the economic development as farmers get access to the market chain. Other prominent issues needing to be addressed aligned with beneficial crop storage services and how farmers and school caterers were communicating.

Since funding the University of Michigan’s global relief plan run by the Center for Global Health (CGH) and participating in groundwork surveillance, Bill and Melinda Gates have coordinated a list of necessities that will ensure a nourished future. To start with, farmers should have better outputs when seed and fertilizer are easily accessible.

They note also that fostering different foods will allow for an assortment of crops and a more diverse selection of sustenance. Embracing new technology, such as mobile phones, will provide quick access to useful farming information. Finally, when crop storage improves, harvests can market conveniently.

Among Bill and Melinda’s outline are also suggestions for modifying food production and delivery. They point out the GSFP as a successful program as caterers design nutritional meals for their school. Farmers can communicate with schools using the planner by knowing when food is needed and what the general outline is for each meal plan and budget. Free nutritional meals are given to 1.7 million children daily thanks to the GSFP.

The outline by Gates goes on to distinguish how other programs under HGSF have succeeded in improving African economy. Zanzibar’s HGSF trained farmers to grow orange fresh sweet potatoes that are rich in Vitamin C. The program in Kenya utilizes mobile phones to increase communication between farmers and schools. Osun State created over 3,000 jobs for caterers and factory workers.

According to Bill and Melinda Gates, if efforts to beat malnutrition continue, by 2030 Africa will be resilient when facing the issue of malnutrition. They predict that a focus on agriculture is the key to witnessing food security in Africa.

– Katie Groe

Sources: Impatient Optimists, Home Grown School Feeding, WHO
Photo: Vox