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COVID-19, insecurity worsened nutrition problems in Nigeria – Govs

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NIGERIAN governors have said COVID-19 pandemic and rising insecurity have worsened the nation’s nutrition crisis.

  The governors, under the aegis of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), spoke yesterday in Abuja, through the forum’s Senior Health Advisor to the NGF, Ahmad Abdulwahab, at a two-day meeting to develop smart commitments on how to end nutrition crisis in the country.

  The meeting, which was organised by the Civil Society Scaling up Nutrition in Nigeria (CSSUNN), in collaboration with Save the Children and Scaling up Nutrition Movement (SUN Movement), was attended by major stakeholders.

  Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo is expected to present Nigeria’s commitments arrived at during the meeting on behalf of the federal government at the Nutrition for Growth Summit in Tokyo, Japan later in December.

  Abdulwahab admitted that nutrition remains a challenge as it accounted for 50 per cent of under-five deaths in the country.

  He said the governors were rising to the challenge by ensuring that all interventions are implemented.

  According to him, not just insecurity both COVID-19 and insecurity further worsened the problem of nutrition in the country.

  Also, National Steering Committee Chairman, Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CSSUNN), Innocent Ifedilichukwu, said the lives of women and children will improve if the commitment reached at the meeting is implemented.

  “If we are able to get this commitment right today and we are able to get the federal government – the Vice-President in particular to present it, issues of malnutrition in the internally displaced persons camps will be a thing of the past. We will now have adequate allocation and efficient management of available resources. Our hope is that the lives of women and children will improve if we are able to get government to make a commitment that is implementable and actionable, not a commitment that will be difficult for even the government to implement like what has happened in the past. In 2013 they made a lot of commitment, saying so much things, eight years after they have not been able to implement most of those commitments. We are very mindful this time around. We are doing a lot of consultations and we are reaching out to a lot of stakeholders so that everybody will be committed. We want to have a commitment that will improve the lives of women and children,” he said.

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