Nasarawa Govt. Partners UNICEF To Tackle Malnutrition

Nasarawa Govt. Partners UNICEF To Tackle MalnutritionInfants and young child feeding has been described as essential to ensure the growth and development of children.

Nasarawa State Nutritional Officer, Amina Mohammed, stated this at a three-day training of community volunteers on infant and young child feeding held at Keffi Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

She also stressed the importance of the programme to address the nutritional needs of young children in Nasarawa State, north-central Nigeria.

“The programme is to understand how the children are fed, if the children are well fed cases of malnutrition will be drastically reduced,” the Nutritional Officer said.

To achieve the objective of the programme, infant and young child feeding support groups were formed to go into various communities to educate the people on the importance of the programme, especially exclusive breastfeeding.

The community volunteers are expected to put in their best to advocate attitudinal change towards exclusive breastfeeding and complimentary feeding.

Nutrition Focal Person of Keffi LGA, Habiba Umar, encouraged the participants to take advantage of the training to impact positively on the lives of children.

Some beneficiaries, Maryam Ibrahim and Deboraah Joseph, lauded the programme and called for its sustenance.

“Before I didn’t engage in exclusive breastfeeding but from today, I have discovered that it is not the best. From now I will be engaging in exclusive breastfeeding,” said one of the beneficiaries.

The programme, Infant and Young Child Feeding, was organised by the Nasarawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency in collaboration with United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

The program was organised to train health workers and community volunteers on the nutrition of children from a day old to five years.

In all, 50 community volunteers and 28 health workers were trained on infant and young child feeding.

UNICEF Says About 50,000 IDP Kids Are Malnourished

UNICEF Says About 50, 000 IDP Kids Are MalnourishedThe United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) estimates that nearly 50,000 children are severely malnourished as a result of the food insecurity.

UNICEF Deputy Executive Director, Omar Abdi, stated this in Maiduguri after a tour of camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) both within and outside the Borno State capital.

Mr Abdi led a team of UNICEF officials from the offices in New York, Dakar and Abuja to undertake an on-the-spot needs assessment among the affected population.

“We have scaled up our programmes in working with other partners and supporting government efforts. So far the nutrition community has reached 12,000 children that are severely malnourished per month.

“We need to quadruple that number in order to reach all of the children that are severely malnourished. If they are not treated quickly, they are at risk of dying both from malnutrition and from other diseases such as diarrhoea and malaria and so on,” he said

The UNICEF team is also concerned about the education and access to clean water for thousands of children affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in northeast Nigeria.

According to the UNICEF Regional Director, Marie Pierre Poirier, access to clean water was another area of concern.

“The Thing that we have seen over the last days that is really strong is how the response in Nigeria to deal with this food insecurity tries to capitalise and attack the problem from different angle.

“So good distribution is very important but that’s not sufficient to get the kids out of that situation. In every IDP camp, we saw that there was a desire from our Nigerian counterparts with the help of UNICEF and partners to really bring in that aspect of water because if you don’t have safe water, you don’t have hygiene and you will create conditions where children cannot maintain the food in their body”, she explained.

UNICEF said even though resources are scarce and the time is short, there is a need to take advantage of any opportunity to tackle the problem.

The agency expressed readiness to increase its support and fill the gaps they have observed in their tours.

World Faces Worst Humanitarian Crisis Since 1945 – UN

Maiduguri, United NationsThe United Nations says the world is facing its largest humanitarian crisis since 72 years, issuing a plea to avoid “a catastrophe”.

UN Humanitarian Chief, Stephen O’Brien, said at least 20 million people faced threat of famine and starvation in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria.

Mr O’Brien noted that $4.4 billion was needed by July to avert the disaster.

“We stand at a critical point in history; already at the beginning of the year we are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the United Nations.

“Now, more than 20 million people across four countries face starvation and famine.

“Without collective and coordinated global efforts, people will simply starve to death,” the Humanitarian Chief told the UN Security Council on Friday.

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) had warned that about 1.4 million children could starve to death in 2017.

Yobe Govt. Lauds WFP, UNICEF Partnership To Aid IDPs

Yobe, UNICEF, IDPs, WFPThe Yobe State government has expressed delight at partnering with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), to address the plights of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

The government reveals that the collaboration is aimed at providing food and rehabilitative services to the IDPs in Yobe State, being one of the troubled states by the Boko Haram insurgents in northeast Nigeria.

The Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Abubakar Aliyu, made the remarks when he met with representatives of the humanitarian organisations on Thursday, to discuss the future of the partnerships.

Giving an account of their largesse, Mr Aliyu said that since peace began to return to the troubled region, humanitarian agencies have increased their activities.

He added that at least 300,000 persons displaced by the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists had received aid in the form of food, water supply and medical attention.

The Deputy Governor also commended the humanitarian organisations for their assistance in increasing their capacity for further humanitarian works in Yobe State.

In their responses, the Director of UNICEF, West and Central Africa, Gianfranco Rotigliano, and the WFP Director of Emergencies, Denise Brown, commended the initiative.

They said they were impressed with the state government’s data gathering and promised to scale up assistance to the IDPs.

300,000 Nigerian Children At Risk Over Malnutrition

Malnutrition-in-NigeriaThe United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) says over 13 million children are suffering from chronic malnutrition in Nigeria out of which 300,000 could die.

Addressing a gathering in Abuja, UNICEF Chief Nutritionist in Nigeria, Arjan de Wagt, said that 300,000 children would die in 2016 alone if they were not treated.

Severe Acute Malnutrition

Reading out a report of her group, the National Coordinator of  Civil Society Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), Philippa Momah, said more than 1.6 million Nigerian children between six months and five years were suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

“These children are nine times more likely to die than well nourished children.

“Without treatment, do you know that about 300,000 of these children will die in 2016 alone?” she questioned.

“On the foregoing, we call on the Federal, State and Local Governments to create nutrition specific budget lines in the Ministries of Health, Education and Agriculture at the Federal States and LGA levels in Nigeria.

“We call on them to develop nutrition plan and action.”

Mr Wagt is, however, hopeful that if drastic commitments were made, most of the malnourished children would survive.

Both UNICEF and a coalition of Civil Society Organisations called on the Federal Government to act by making funds available for the treatment of malnourished children.

UNICEF is a United Nations programme that provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries.