The Department for International Development (DFID) has invested a total of £41 million (N18 billion) to support Nutrition projects in the North East.
Recent findings have shown that malnutrition has become prevalent in the North East as the Boko Haram insurgence reportedly occurs in major communities in the North east region of Nigeria.
Abigail Nyukuri, UNICEF Nutrition Specialist said that the DFID supported nutrition projects includes the “Flexible integrated and timely project” (FIT) in Borno state and the “Working to improve nutrition in northern Nigeria project” (WINNN) in Yobe state.
According to him, the FIT project aim to detect the deteriorating nutrition-related crisis in the state and provide timely response to tackle the menance.
He said “The FIT project is a multi-sectoral nutrition project with the objective of detecting the emerging deteriorating nutrition-related crisis through an agile nutrition surveillance system and provide timely response through the implementation of an integrated basic nutrition package”.
“The project which cost £36 million started from April 2019 to March 2022″.
He explained that the WINNN project aims to improve maternal and young child nutrition in northern Nigeria especially in the Yobe state, adding that project which cost £5 million, will run from April 2019 to March 2020”.
Sanjay Kumar Das, Nutrition Manager, UNICEF said that there is need to scale up intervention programs as the situation is still critical despite improvement recorded.
He said “We have recorded some improvement in the trend of malnutrition since 2018 but the situation is still critical”.
Das said that inadequate funding, poor security condition, illiteracy as well as poor social cultural practices has hampered the progress in the fight against malnutrition in Borno state.
He further stressed that insecurity has had a great toll on the economy of the state as farmers are not able to carryout their livelihood activities”.
“There is need for increased funding in order to sustain and continually scale up the intervention activities”.
“UNICEF is working closely with the state government to scale up these programs”.
Cynthia Egboboh, Abuja