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UN says Nigeria needs N5b to tackle hunger in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa

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Malnutrition

About N5 billion is needed to procure 258,950 cartons of ready-to-use therapeutic food that would be used to tackle Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, says the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

It added that an estimated 258,950 children are to suffer from SAM in the three states by 2020.

UNICEF nutrition specialist, Aminu Usman, disclosed this yesterday at a Media Dialogue on Child Malnutrition organised by the UN body and the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, with support from the Department for International Development (DfID) in Maiduguri, Borno State.

He said that funding had been secured for 29,314 cartons, while there is a funding gap of N4.4 billion.

Usman observed that persistent crises and influx of internally-displaced persons were exacerbating the situation, stressing the need for a contingency plan to tackle malnutrition.

He disclosed that DfID had given £35 million (about N15 billion) for flexible integrated timely response in the North East and £5 million for the wind project in Yobe.

Another UNICEF nutritionist, Abigail Nyukuri, noted that 2.5 million children under the age of five suffer SAM in Nigeria, adding that about 44,000 children in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe suffered acute malnutrition in 2019.

She stressed the need for an integrated approach towards tackling malnutrition in the North as well as adequate resources to deliver comprehensive nutrition to children.

According to Nyukuri, malnutrition had severe consequences in the life a child and leads to inestimable brain damage and compromised intellectual capacity in adulthood.

She noted efforts being made to detect emerging, deteriorating malnutrition related crises in Borno through an agile nutrition surveillance system and timely response through the implementation of an integrated basic nutrition package.

Deputy Director and Head, Child Rights Information Bureau, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Mr. Olumide Osanyinpeju, described malnutrition as a large burden to any country, and improved nutrition as the key to improved national and human development.


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