The federal government has expressed concern over the rate of malnourishment among children, saying about 2.5 million children under five years were currently affected by severe malnutrition. This figure places Nigeria as the country with the third largest number of chronically undernourished children globally. Minister of State , Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, who spoke Tuesday in Abuja at the 2017 Nutrition Week, with the theme: ’’Improved Nutrition and Empowerment: Healthy Diet, Healthy Living,” lamented that , ” If nothing is done, one in five (500,000) children will die annually.”
The minister, who cited the 2013 global nutrition report, said Nigeria was facing a silent national emergency that is caused by malnutrition. She stated that in order to address the trend, a budget line would be created for food and nutrition in the relevant ministries, departments and agencies, at all levels. According to her, thousands of children will die annually if nothing significant was done to address the issue of malnutrition. “We are gathered here today to talk around a silent national emergency – malnutrition. Nigeria is home to the third largest number of chronically undernourished children globally, with about 2.5 million children under five years affected by Severe Acute Malnutrition. If nothing is done, one in five (500,000) children will die annually (Global Nutrition Report, NDHS 2013 report).