The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) figures picture that numerous children are affected by malnutrition in the country. In Katsina, Kebbi, Jigawa, Yobe, and Zamfara States, experts at Working to Improve Nutrition in Northern Nigeria (WINNN), exclaim, “As a result of malnutrition, 58 per cent of children under five in these states suffer from stunting, meaning their physical and mental development have been impaired.
But despite this, authorities seem not to be working round the clock to arrest the situation, even as WINNN an estimated 370,000 children with severe acute malnutrition in these states will require lifesaving treatment this year, while 183,352 breast feeding women are malnourished. Without urgent intervention, some 70,000 of those children are likely to die.”
Twenty million people In danger
Nigeria is among countries like Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen that the UN says pose the jeopardy of malnourishment and where 20 million people are in danger due to drought and conflict and will be dubbed “the world’s worst famine for decades”.
The U.N Financial Tracking Service (FTS), articulates, “Nigeria’s humanitarian appeal is the least funded. Nigeria’s aid response plan for 2017 has received $241 million of a requested $1.05 billion to date, of which the WFP’s demand for $300 million to provide life-saving food aid in the North-east has only been a sixth funded.”
This has raised huge fears that only this June, the UN can merely assist 1.3 million of those most in need, as against the 1.8 million people it had before tabled to provide aid to.
The genuineness of this is that apart from the North-east, malnutrition and stunting are besetting the growth and development of children in most Nigerian towns and villages.