Princess Viktória of Bourbon-Parma, wife of Prince Jaime, Count of Bardi, a first cousin of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, visited Mozambique last week to learn more about chronic malnutrition.
Princess Viktória spent a week around the town of Beira and the province of Sofala. She did this as a patron of the Dutch branch of Save the Children, an international non-governmental organisation that promotes children’s rights, provides relief and helps support children in developing countries.
“Chronic malnutrition isn’t the same as acute malnutrition when children have nothing to eat at all. With chronic malnutrition, there is food available, but not enough or it isn’t nutritional enough. The children aren’t thin, but they are smaller than they should be for their age,” Princess Viktória explained. “Chronic malnutrition is especially damaging for a child’s development in the first 1000 days of their lives.” Without plenty of nutrition in those first 1000 days, the delayed development will never catch up.
Chronic malnutrition is a worldwide problem, but in Mozambique, 43% of all children under the age of five suffers from it. “The solution is simple. There is a cheap supplement that can be mixed into their porridge.” Just outside Beira, Princess Viktória went to see how Save the Children deals with the chronic malnutrition in practice.
Princess Viktória also attended a cooking class to raise awareness of all the food available in Mozambique. “Over 200 people attended. They were all curious, and then the news went around, and others learned as well,” Princess Viktória said.
With her newfound knowledge of chronic malnutrition, Princess Viktória wants to bring companies together to help better tackle the issue of chronic malnutrition not only in Mozambique but also in other countries.
In 2015 Princess Viktória emptied a wishing well in the Efteling amusement park in Kaatsheuvel. The proceeds also went to Save the Children.