CSO Targets Lifting 20 million Nigerian Under-5 Children from Malnutrition by 2030

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Civil Society- Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) has flagged-off a partnership project aimed at improving Nigeria’s nutrition systems.

The organisation said it will work to improve Nigeria’s Human Capital Development (HCD) by attaining 20 million additional healthy under-five-years-old children surviving and not stunted.

The project, which is at its second phase, is for three years and is designed to strengthen the Nigeria nutrition systems to be more result-driven, effective, serviceable, efficient and transparent for human capital development.

CS-SUNN Board of Trustees Chairman, Dr. Bamidele Omotola said the PINNS 2.0 project will build on the gains of the just concluded PINNS 1.0.

While congratulating the alliance, he called on stakeholders to work closely with CS-SUNN to achieve the project outcomes; this he said will contribute significantly to improving nutritional outcomes for Nigeria.

“Nigeria’s Human Capital Development target by 2030 is to attain 20 million additional healthy (under-five-years-old children surviving and not stunted), educated (completing secondary school), and productive (youth entering the labor force) Nigerians,” he said.

According to him, PINNS 2.0 project was formally launched by CS-SUNN and nutrition stakeholders in Nigeria at a hybrid Inception meeting held on November 15, 2021 in Abuja.

The meeting was aimed at formally kick-starting the project, presenting to stakeholders the project goal, objectives, implementation strategies and getting buy-in of stakeholders for smooth implementation of the project.

In a goodwill message, Permanent Secretary Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Mrs. Abiola Adetutu Liadi, stated that with the support of CS-SUNN, the state government has made significant progress in the area of improved budget lines for nutrition.

She urged all stakeholders to continue to partner with CS-SUNN and pledged the ministry’s support to the implementation of the PINNS 2.0 project.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Planning and Budget Kano state Mr. Auwalu Sanda congratulated CS-SUNN saying “nutrition has been given priority attention by the state government since the coming of CS-SUNN”. He expressed optimism that more progress in that regard will be made with the PINNS 2.0 project.

CS-SUNN Acting Executive Secretary, Mr. Sunday Okoronkwo while presenting the PINNS 2.0 overview said through the project, CS-SUNN will contribute to attaining optimal nutrition which is critical to attaining HCD.
He explained that when government sustainably commits to improving nutrition through strong nutrition governance, it will ensure nutrition data for planning and decision making is routinely available and that adequate domestic financing is made available to effectively deliver on nutrition services.

“The outcome will be a well-nourished child who grows up to become a major contributor to growing the country’s Gross Domestic Product and aligns to the HCD objectives”, said Mr. Okoronkwo.

He explained that the strategies PINNS 2.0 project will adopt to reset nutrition structures in Nigeria include, improved Implementation of low cost and low-cost nutrition intervention: advocacies for exclusive breastfeeding, timely complementary feeding, Iron folate, vitamin A and Zinc supplementation, WASH, deworming, food fortification and management of moderate and severe acute malnutrition.

“Improved maternal, infant and young child nutrition for reduced morbidity and mortality, improved adult structure, reduced Diet Related Non-Communicable Diseases, improved school performance and learning capacity, improved work capacity/ productivity and cognitive, motor & socio-emotional development.

“Contribute to improving HCD in Nigeria to ensure 20 million additional healthy
(under-five-years-old children surviving and not stunted), educated (completing secondary school), and productive (youth entering the labor force) Nigerians by 2030 HCD.

“The approach for the implementation of the project will begin with the PINNS 2.0 start up (issue framing, baseline, studies, update of strategies) then to research and use of evidence to inform decision and actions.

“Thereafter CS-SUNN will build/strengthen strategic alliances and partnerships in project locations and strengthen capacity of government institutions and Civil Society Alliances in project locations.

” Fourthly, advocacy planning, delivery and communication of interventions and then evaluate impact of the project,” he said.

Okonkwo further stated that the project will be implemented at the national level and in five focal states; Nasarawa, Niger, Kaduna, Kano and Lagos, targeting Nutrition institutions/Bodies, Executives/Legislators/policymakers, Community influencers/gatekeepers and the media across the specified levels.