The Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) says it has initiated processes to reach and feed one million children across Nigeria.
Malnutrition continues to be a direct or underlying cause of 45 percent of all deaths of children under age five, according to United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
In Nigeria’s northeast region, more than 800,000 children are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021, including nearly 300,000 with severe acute malnutrition who are at imminent risk of death, according to UNICEF.
In the country’s northwest region, the nutrition situation is even more dire as Kebbi State is experiencing a chronic malnutrition rate of 66 percent, more than 20 percent higher than Borno State in the northeast.
‘In Sokoto State, also in Nigeria’s northwest, close to 18 percent of children suffer from wasting and 6.5 percent suffer from severe wasting’, UNICEF said in a statement on nutrition crises.
In its response to the burden of malnutrition, Chairman of ADF, Aliko Dangote, said the foundation was ready to complement and boost government’s efforts in tackling the issue of malnutrition in Nigeria.
‘We recognise nutrition as a cross-cutting issue which affects other critical development goals, that is why nutrition has become our core focus’, Dangote said in a statement.
‘We want to reach one million malnourished children in Nigeria and we know that for every dollar invested in nutrition, the nation as a whole will reap huge economic dividends.
‘In addition, we shall reach households of children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and their communities that contribute the most to the SAM burden with food security, cash-based interventions and livelihoods support, engendered infant and young child feeding, hygiene, and care-seeking behaviours’.
Similarly, the Mary Dinah Foundation (MDF) has commenced Zero Hunger Programme for vulnerable groups in Yobe State, northeast Nigeria.
MDF is executing this project in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in 34 communities tied to the state.
The programme, which is designed to feed 16,000 persons daily, covers vulnerable groups, including women and children, in Damagun, Idi Barde, Fune IDP Camp, Jenga, Dogon Rigiya, Kasuwa, and Sabon Line.
Source: Aliko Dangote Foundation
Photo source: UNICEF/Naftalin