Japan Provides N228m Food Support to Malnourished Children
From: Kwiza Mbumbeh, Maiduguri
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said that three million children in Northeast, Nigeria will be screened for severe acute malnutrition and provide food support.
The support is being financed by the Japanese Government with a new grant of $600,000 (about N228 million).
In a statement Tuesday of the Maiduguri Field Office, it disclosed: “The new grant is for the campaign against malnutrition among children between the ages of six months and five years.
“The new funds will help UNICEF work with mothers and other caregivers to boost community-based food production and the detection, referral and monitoring of children with severe acute malnutrition in Borno and Yobe.”
According to the statement; children with severe acute malnutrition in the three BAY states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe were at significantly higher risk of death than well-nourished children.
The organisation said a recent survey revealed that Borno, the epicenter of over a decade-long insurgency, has 10 percent malnutrition rates.
While the neighbouring state of Yobe, has 12.3 rates, a figure considered well above the five percent threshold and globally recognized to be of public health significance.
The new grant, according to UNICEF, will aid in early detection and prompt treatment of children suffering from acute malnutrition.
Besides treatment, it will also build a strong network of community nutrition responders who can ensure quick referrals of malnourished children to health facilities.
“We are deeply concerned that children in north-east Nigeria are not only suffering the direct effects of conflict – but are also suffering from other life-threatening consequences like malnutrition,” it lamented.
“The children’s situation worsened due to the COVID-19 pandemic” said Mr. SHINOZAWA Takayuki, Chargé d’ Affaires at the Embassy of Japan in Nigeria.