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Parliamentarians discuss hunger and food security

Posted: Friday, November 8, 2019. 8:21 pm CST.

By BBN Staff:  Today the Belize Parliamentary Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition (BPAHM) held a forum in Belize City, to discuss regional and local efforts geared towards ensuring children are given proper nutrition.

The forum, which was held at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex Conference Room, gathered representatives from the Ministry of Education (MOE), Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), and Ministry of Health (MOH), as well as special guests from within the region, including a representative from the Ministry of Education in Guatemala.

Laura Tucker-Longsworth, chair of the BPAHM committee, explained that the meeting was geared towards discussing legislation including the types of legislation that could be passed to ensure school children are given proper nutrition.

“After this, the plan is for us to create a large work plan over a three or four year period, where each year we can incrementally start moving towards,” Longsworth said.

Minister of Agriculture, Godwin Hulse, noted that eradicating hunger is a part of the Millenium Development Goals (MDG)’s that United Nations countries have signed on to. He stressed that today’s meeting was important because it brought together the incumbent government as well as members of the opposition in an effort to ensure continuity in an ever-changing political climate.

“I am happy that we have been able to pull this outside of the political realm. As you see there is adequate representation from the opposition. We want a buy-in into this. This can’t be a UDP Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health thing,” Hulse said. “This has to be Belizean children eating healthy, growing healthy, etc. There is an election, the schools will be closed that day because they use the schools but the next day children get back to it no matter who is in government.”

He added that work has already begun in 19 schools, four Belize City primary schools and the remainder in rural areas, where the various ministries have set up gardens, kitchens, and other equipment to allow students to grow their own food and have it prepared and served on campus.

 

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