17.7m Nigerians hungry, 1m in acute food insecurity – UNICEF
Says Lagos, Borno, Katsina Kano with highest in food insecurity
Urges govt to close funding gap in nutrition
About 17.7 million people in Nigeria are hungry and this number may increase to 25 million if nothing is done urgently to salvage the situation
Out of the number, about 1 million are suffering from acute food insecurity and this refers to people who are hungry and does not know where their next meal is coming from.
UNICEF Nutrition Officer, Nkeiru Enwelum, yesterday at a two-day media dialogue on nutrition financing in Nigeria organized by the Child Rights Information Bureau (CRIB) of the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation in collaboration with UNICEF, noted that Lagos, Borno, Katsina and Kano have the highest number of people suffering from food insecurity in the country.
She added that malnutrition in Nigeria is widespread and that it may likely achieve the SDG target on exclusive breastfeeding by 2030 but remains off track to achieving SDG2 on Zero hunger.
Enwelum, who noted that currently, about 35 million children in Nigeria are malnourished, stated that Nigeria has the highest number of malnourished children in Africa and ranks second highest in the world in term of number of malnourished children.
She said, “About 35 million of under five children in Nigeria are malnourished and out of this, we have 12 million are stunted while 23.5 million children are anemic – that is suffering (about 60 per cent of children in Nigeria) – from National Population Commission and Demographic Surveys”, she said.
She attributed the high burden of malnutrition in the country to poverty, ignorance inadequate budgetary allocation for nutrition
Earlier, UNICEF Communication Specialist, Mr. Geoffrey Njoku, noted that the Federal and State governments are not budgeting enough funds to tackle the increasing level of malnutrition in the country.
He lamented that the malnutrition problem in Nigeria is huge, hence the need to close the funding gaps through local resource mobilization and increased awareness on the situation by the media.
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