Zero Hunger, DAR, NNC band to address unmet nutritional needs

PANDEMIC SUPPORT. Rise Against Hunger and Pilipinas Kontra Gutom, with Cabinet Secretary and Task Force Zero Hunger head Karlo Nograles (3rd from left), bring assorted food items in Tuguegarao City early May 2021. The delivery will be distributed among Covid-19 patients staying in isolation facilities. (Photo courtesy of Kain Nation: Zero Hunger PH Facebook)

MANILA – Task Force Zero Hunger, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Region 3, and the National Nutrition Council – National Capital Region (NNC – NCR) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) under the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) program to address the nutritional needs of pregnant women and small children.

Cabinet Secretary and Task Force Zero Hunger head Karlo Nograles said the MOU signing, held Thursday at Clark Marriott Hotel in Mabalacat, Pampanga, included Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Organizations (ARBOs) to ensure supplies for the Tutok Kainan: Dietary Supplementation Program of the NNC.

“We need more of this kind of collaboration among agencies and stakeholders, especially since the NNC’s Tutok Kainan is among the banner programs of Task Force Zero Hunger. Our aim is to provide for nutritionally-at-risk pregnant women for 90 days, and for six to 23-month old children for 18 days to address their dietary needs,” Nograles explained via a news release Sunday.

He said farmers’ income are strengthened, citing that “240 ARBOs that are part of the EPAHP program earned PHP148,863,818.80 for the produce they sold up to December 2020.”

Nograles was virtually joined by DAR’s Secretary John Castriciones, Undersecretary Emily Padilla, Undersecretary Virginia Orogo, Assistant Secretary Milagros Isabel Cristobal, and Regional Director Maria Celestina Tam; NNC Executive Director Azucena Dayanghirang, NNC-NCR Coordinator Milagros Elisa Federizo, the president of the Santo Tomas San Luis Farmers Association, representatives from other partner agencies, and ARBO members.

EPAHP was launched to respond to urgent needs relating to food and poverty.

Among the partner agencies are the Local Government, Education, Health, Science and Technology, Information and Communications Technology, and Trade departments, National Anti-Poverty Commission, National Irrigation Administration, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Commission on Population and Development, Land Bank, Philippine Coconut Authority, National Dairy Authority, and Philippine Carabao Center.

Technical support is provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Program.

Dayanghirang said the program will allow the widespread benefits for intended beneficiaries amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nograles said it is an honor for him to lead the Task Force and be at the forefront in the fight against hunger and poverty.

“This is among my personal advocacies, one I have been actively pushing even before joining the executive department, when I was still in Congress as Davao representative,” he said. (PR)

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