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DSWD, UNFPA explore ways to promote well-being of pregnant, nursing mothers

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) are exploring ways on how to promote the well-being of pregnant and nursing mothers, who are among the beneficiaries of the government’s Food Stamp Program (FSP).

This was the main agenda of the meeting between DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian and UNFPA Philippines Country Representative Dr. Leila Saiji Joudane during the foreign official’s courtesy call at the DSWD Central Office in Batasan, Quezon City on Friday (August 11).

UNFPA officials told Secretary Gatchalian that their office is ready to assist the DSWD in promoting the welfare of pregnant and nursing Filipino mothers, who have been identified as one of the beneficiaries of the FSP.

“The private sector is helping us with that. They have already developed cookbooks, journals for the first 1,000 days… But maybe as an added dimension, you guys come in to enrich the materials,” the DSWD chief said.

UNFPA Philippine Country Representative Joudane said her office have existing modules centered around capacitating pregnant and nursing mothers in empowering them and educating them about their rights.

The DSWD and the UNFPA can share their modules with the DSWD and help the Department in enriching the materials developed for the nutrition education classes for the beneficiaries of the FSP.

Secretary Gatchalian said the UNFPA can add nutrition topics, contents on their rights, needs, and other dimensions that will help pregnant and nursing mothers

“This [Food Stamp] program is about eating right, nutritious, delicious, and affordable meals for the family—not packed meals because they get to decide on their own. They are made to choose from healthy products and then execute that at home and understand the nutritional value of that,” the DSWD chief emphasized.

The FSP aims to provide food augmentation to the bottom 1 million households from Listahanan 3, who belong to the food-poor criteria as defined by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), which also includes pregnant and nursing mothers.

UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency with a mission to empower women and deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted.

Present during the meeting were Assistant Secretary for Partnerships Building and Resource Mobilization Atty. Ana Maria Paz Rafael; UNFPA Monitoring and Evaluation Officer Jose Roi Avena; and other representatives from UNFPA.

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