DFID Commits N18.5B to Tackle Acute Malnutrition in Borno, Yobe States

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Kuni Tyessi in Abuja

The Department for International Development (DFID) has committed a total of N18.5 billion to address the deteriorating nutrition-related crisis in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states from April 2019 to March 2020.

The fund is expected to succeed in eight areas notably community-based management of acute malnutrition, infant and young child feeding practices, micro nutrient supplementation, health, child protection, water and sanitation hygiene, early childhood development and surveillance.

A Nutrition Specialist, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Aminu Usman, who made this known at a two-day media dialogue on Integrated and Timely Response to Nutrition-Related Humanitarian Needs, held in Borno State recently, said the money was needed to enhance the purchase of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) in
Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

While noting that a lot has been achieved in addressing the challenges of malnutrition in the region, he raised concern over new cases of severe acute malnutrition due to influx of new arrivals of internally displaced persons, lack of access to hard to reach areas and late presentation of malnourished children whose parents were ashamed to seek treatment.

Usman who noted that there was a funding gap of N4.4 billion, called on government at all levels to come to the rescue of children in the Northeast to avert a further exacerbation of an already poor nutrition situation.

In his words: “DFID has committed a total of £41 million (N18.5 billion) to address the deteriorating nutrition related crisis in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states from April 2019 to March 2020.

“Nutrition sector estimates there will be 258,950 boys and girls suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), in 2020 in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. N5 billion is needed to necessitate procurement of 258,950 cartons of RUTF for SAM.

“Funding has been secured for 29, 314 cartons of RUTF, there is a funding gap of N4.4 billion for procurement of 229, 636 cartoons.”

He said the affected community coping mechanisms was still low and that any shock will result in further deterioration of nutrition status in the region.