NIGERIA: About $600,000 has been donated by Japan to end malnutrition in two North-Eastern states in Nigeria.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) disclosed this in a statement on the 29th of March.
The two states are Borno and Yobe states.
The Chargé d’ Affaires at the Embassy of Japan in Nigeria, Mr Shinozawa Takayuki in the statement said that the fund is being given to the two states because they are not only suffering from insecurity but other life-threatening situations.
“We are deeply concerned that children in north-east Nigeria are not only suffering the direct effects of conflict but they are also suffering from other life-threatening consequences like malnutrition. The children’s situation worsened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We hope that with these funds, we can support UNICEF and Nigerian families and communities to ensure life-saving nutrition so that children can survive and thrive,” Takayuki stated.
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Purpose of the Fund
According to UNICEF, the fund would cater towards addressing malnutrition in these two states for a year.
Sections, where the funds would address, include boosting community-based food production, the detection, referral and monitoring of children with severe acute malnutrition in Borno and Yobe
Under the period, three million conflict-affected children in north-east Nigeria will be screened for severe acute malnutrition.
The fund will also train 50,000 pregnant and lactating women and other caregivers on how to store and cook affordable food for themselves and their children and they will also be trained how to monitor their child’s nutritional status at home.
The statement decried that children with severe acute malnutrition are at a significantly higher risk of death as compared to well-nourished children.
Survey on Malnutrition in Borno and Yobe States
According to the statement, a recent survey found that malnutrition rates in children 6 to 59 months are as high as 10 per cent in Borno State and 12.3 per cent in Yobe State.
These statistics are above the five per cent threshold globally recognised to be of public health significance.