Within its first operational year, the IMA-implemented ASTUTE program has received an A+ rating from its funding agency, the U.K.’s Department for International Development.
“The programme is awarded an A+ overall because there is very good progress in the implementation of activities,” DFID’s report states. “This is evident from technical support implementing partners provide at the national and sub-national level, as well as the nutrition-related community interventions. The progress reports, field visits and feedback from stakeholders and beneficiaries have all verified this.”
The four-year, $28 million project aims to reduce childhood stunting in high-risk regions of Tanzania. Addressing Stunting in Tanzania Early, or ASTUTE, supports the Government of Tanzania’s National Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Action Plan. ASTUTE, known locally known as Mtoto Mwerevu, Swahili for “smart child,” has as its goal to reduce the prevalence of stunting by at least 7 percent within four years, thereby preventing stunting in more than 50,000 children under 5 years of age, in five Lake Zone regions: Kagera, Kigoma, Mwanza, Geita and Shinyanga.
Childhood stunting—a result of inadequate feeding during a child’s first 1,000 days; poor water, sanitation and hygiene practices; and inadequate access to health care—has very serious long-term consequences. Children who are stunted may endure reduced cognitive performance, educational attainment and adult productivity, and run a higher risk of staying in poverty for generations.