Senate seeks urgent funds to address malnutrition among IDPs
The Senate, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to urgently approve disbursements from the Presidential Victims Support Fund to address the high rate of malnutrition among internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country.
It also charged government on raising funds from the private sector to complement the T.Y. Danjuma-led panel.
The development was sequel to a motion titled: “ Challenges of food security and malnutrition of children in the IDPs” and sponsored by Senator Baba Kaka Garbai (APC, Borno Central).
The Senate tasked the Federal Government to immediately direct the Ministry of Finance to effect the release from the service-wide vote appropriated for lDPs in the 2016 budget.
The chamber directed its Committee on Special Duties, States and Local Governments to carry out a fact-finding visit to Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states to get first-hand information on the challenges confronting the lDPs.
It challenged government to ensure that no one more Nigerian child or woman dies of malnutrition, irrespective of his/her background.
The Senate commended the Borno, Adamawa and Yobe state governments as well as those of Gombe, Bauchi and Taraba, among others for accommodating the lDPs.
Earlier, the sponsor explained that he was moved to bring up the issue before the chamber following the alarming report by the UNICEF that between January and May 2016, it admitted 47,423 children from the three states and treated them of acute malnutrition during the period.
The report, according to Garbai, indicates that it will take $349.9 million to adequately provide the affected population with basic living conditions that support life for at least three months.
He, therefore, called on the private sector and donor-agencies to rally round government in its efforts to provide succour to “our brothers and sisters who are suffering in the rather dehumanising environment.”
In his remarks, Senate President Bukola Saraki appealed to those who made pledges to the Fund to redeem them as quickly as possible.