TANZANIA has sustained relatively high economic growth over the last decade, averaging 6–7 percent a year.
Although Tanzania’s poverty rate fell from 60 percent in 2007 to an estimated 47 percent in 2016, based on the US$1.90 per day global poverty line, its absolute number of poor has not decreased because of its high population growth.
About 12 million Tanzanians still live in extreme poverty on earnings of less than US$0.60 per day.
Despite Tanzania’s steady trends in the reduction of the rates of under nutrition over the last two decades, the prevalence and the burden of under nutrition remains high in country.
Due to the rate of population growth outstripping the rate of reduction, the absolute numbers of stunted and wasted children are high, and in some instances increasing.
Tanzania is one of the most peaceful, stable and prosperous countries in Africa.
Despite growth averaging 6.5 percent per annum for over a decade, GDP has struggled to stay ahead of high population growth (3 percent per year), leaving as many as 12 million Tanzanians below the poverty line.
The country is ranked 151 out of 188 in the United Nations Human Development Index, which classifies it as a country of ‘Low Human Development’.
Nevertheless, Tanzania has a well-defined ambition to become a Middle-Income Country by 2025.
Malnutrition has long been associated with poverty, poor diet and inadequate access to health care, and it remains a key global health issue that both stems from and contributes to ill-health, with 50 percent of childhood deaths due to underlying undernutrition.
Improving children’s well-being at the earliest age must be an integral and systematic component of education and poverty reduction.
It is essential to support the first phase of learning which begins with parents. Concerted efforts are needed to ensure that unnecessary deaths resulting from malnutrition especially in children under five years are brought to an end.
Investing in nutrition is essential for Tanzania to progress.