Different government agencies have already approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) aimed to help mitigate hunger and reduce poverty in the country.
In a statement on Tuesday, Cabinet Secretary and designated EPAHP Steering Committee Chairman Karlo Nograles said the Cabinet’s approval of the MOU came in time for the commemoration of the World Food Day today which seeks to raise awareness about world hunger and malnutrition.
“The objectives of World Food Day––zero hunger by 2030––are mirrored by government initiatives that are focused on eliminating hunger within the same time frame. With the approval of the EPAHP MOU, we believe we are taking a significant step toward achieving this goal,” Nograles said.
According to the MOU, EPAHP is intended to contribute to the national governments in addressing hunger and poverty through the synergy and convergence of essential services of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Science and Technology, Department of Trade and Industry , National Anti-Poverty Commission, National Irrigation Administration, and Landbank, and directly benefiting the poorer sector of the country.
Other agencies to be tapped for the initiative include the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and Commission on Population.
In 2018, Nograles said 2.4 million families experienced moderate to extreme hunger while 13.7 million Filipino children are undernourished and a fifth of Filipinos five and younger are underweight. While he said the numbers are considerable, the government still has a number of government programs to address these, such as the feeding programs of DSWD, DILG, DepEd and DOH’s Early Childhood Care and Development Programs.
“The overarching goal here is to ensure that all these programs tie-up with other government food and nutrition programs so that they are more efficient and are maximized. These feeding programs, for example, should source their produce and food items from local farmers, and the DA can facilitate that. This is just one of many ways EPAHP utilizes a whole-of-nation approach to beat hunger,” he said.