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Council approves five-year plan to reduce hunger, malnutrition

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A five-year nutrition action plan that would guide implementation of intervention programmes to address hunger and malnutrition across all sectors in Nigeria has been approved by the National Council on Nutrition.

The council, chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, approved the action plan, titled the ‘National Multi-Sectoral Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition (NMPFAN) 2021-2025’ at its virtual meeting on Tuesday. 

This was disclosed by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande. Apart from the vice president, membership include chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Health Minister, Minister of Water Resources, the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, development partners, organized private sector, Civil Society Organisations, the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido, among others.  

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The approved plan, it is believed, would reduce the proportion of people who suffer malnutrition by about 50%, and increase exclusive breastfeeding rate to 65%.

It is also believed that it would reduce stunting rate among under-five year olds to about 18% by 2025 through the scaling up of priority high-impact nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions.

The plan recommends the adoption and implementation of strategies aimed at improving the nutritional status of Nigerians by tackling under-nutrition and stunting, among others.

The vice president welcomed suggestions for the adoption of extensive nutrition advocacy programmes to be driven by stakeholders across all levels of the government and the private sector.

Offering the support of state governors, Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, (NGF), Dr Kayode Fayemi, said his colleagues endorsed the plan.

While commending the personal commitment of Vice President Osinbajo to the issue of nutrition in the country, the chairman, Board of Trustees, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido, said the same commitment would need to be demonstrated in the states, noting that taking the advocacy campaign to the state governors would be a crucial part of ending malnutrition in the country.

In another development, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) adopted the National Action Plan 6.0 for the retention of results delivered so far in the Ease of Doing Business reforms in Nigeria.

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