The Federal Government and the World Bank have set aside $350 million to address malnutrition and stunting among 13 million Nigerian children, the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole has said.
The minister spoke at the opening of a 2-day conference on maternal/child nutrition in Nigeria organized by the House of Representatives Committee on Healthcare Services, chaired by Chike Okafor (APC, Imo) in collaboration with UNICEF.
Represented by the Director of Family Health in the ministry, Dr Adebimpe Adebiyi, Adewole said the ministry was preparing a national nutrition project “that would be financed with approximately $350 million from the World Bank to enable the implementation of the strategic plan of action for nutrition.”
He said already, the sum of N1.2 billion was budgeted for procurement of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) paste for treatment of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in this year’s budget.
Declaring the hearing open, Speaker Yakubu Dogara expressed concern on the scourge of malnutrition in the country, calling on lawmakers at all levels to help in curbing the menace.
The committee chairman, Okafor said the conference was borne out of the panel’s concern at the alarming rate of malnutrition.
A representative of UNICEF, Pernille Ironside urged Nigerian leaders to take proactive measures in arresting the situation.