TPRF Joins Effort to End Serious Malnutrition among Children in Haiti
Funds to supplement diet for 3,400 children using Haitian-grown food
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) has made a grant of US$10,000 to assist an ongoing campaign to end widespread malnutrition among children throughout the island nation of Haiti.
The funds will go to Meds & Food for Kids (MFK) and will buy peanuts to make Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food. The food, which is known locally as Medika Mamba or medical peanut butter, will be primarily made from peanuts purchased from Haitian farmers. The program’s overall goal is to supply the high-protein, high-calorie food annually to an estimated 100,000 children who now suffer irreparable damage early in life due to insufficient nutrients in their diets.
“Both the short- and long-term benefits of this effort by MFK are impressive,” says TPRF President Linda Pascotto. “MFK has assembled an effective program to help eradicate malnutrition and improve economic self-sufficiency. The choice of an enriched food that is already part of the local diet ensures that children enjoy it and parents are approving–an important ingredient for success.”
Marianne Frapwell, MFK’s development officer, says severe malnutrition suffered in the first two years of life in Haiti has resulted in irreversible physical and mental disabilities and depressed immune systems, making children more susceptible to contracting diseases and increasing the probability of childhood death. Developed by St. Louis-based MFK, Medika Mamba has proven to deliver almost immediate results, while being a culturally acceptable food that the children enjoy.
Of the nearly 10 million people living in Haiti, Frapwell says, “more than a third are under age 14.” World Bank researchers claim 29.7% of these children experience moderate malnutrition, while 18.9% are severely malnourished. “Given the inextricable links between malnutrition and poverty,” she says, “it is essential not only to provide immediate treatment, but to invest in economic development so that a future without rescue is possible.”
Ms. Frapwell says MFK’s model addresses both the immediate need for proven and successful malnutrition treatment and the long-term need for lasting economic growth through job training for local citizens and investments in local agricultural development. This development includes the teaching of sustainable farming techniques that improve crop health and yield.
About The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF)
Founded in 2001, The Prem Rawat Foundation strives to address the fundamental human needs of food, water and peace so that people can live with dignity, peace and prosperity. For more information, visit: www.tprf.org.
SOURCE The Prem Rawat Foundation