The Federal Government through the National Council on Nutrition has approved a five-year nutrition plan to address the hunger and malnutrition challenges bedeviling vulnerable Nigerian citizens.
The action plan titled the “National Multi-Sectoral Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition (NMPFAN) 2021 – 2025”, was approved by the Council Chair, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, at a virtual meeting on Tuesday.
It is targeted at guiding the implementation of interventions and programmes to address the problems of hunger and malnutrition across all sectors in the country.
The approved plan was made public in a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Laolu Akande, Office of the Vice President.
According to the statement, “The approved plan will reduce the proportion of people who suffer malnutrition by 50 percent and increase exclusive breastfeeding rate to 65 percent.
“It will also reduce stunting rate among under-five-year-olds to 18 percent by 2025 through the scaling up of priority high impact nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions.
“The plan recommends the adoption and implementation of strategies aimed at improving the nutritional status of Nigerians by tackling undernutrition and stunting, among others”.
Yemi Osinbajo welcomed suggestions for the adoption of extensive nutrition advocacy programmes to be driven by stakeholders across all levels of government and the private sector, the statement read in part.
Alongside the VP, Council members also include the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Health Minister, Minister of Water Resources, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning.
Others include the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, development partners, organized private sector, Civil Society Organisations, the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido, and a host of key members.
Speaking at the meeting also, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido, urged that the commitment of the Federal Government be replicated across the states of the federation.
The former Emir of Kano added that the advocacy campaign to the State Governors will play a crucial role in ending malnutrition in the country.
On his part, Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, (NGF) and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, who offered the support of the state governors in the actualisation of the plan, endorsed it on behalf of his colleagues.
Other stakeholders present pledged their support for the implementation of the action plan aimed at addressing the menace of malnutrition in Nigeria.
Represented by Diego Moroso of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and Zouera Youssoufou of the Aliko Dangote Foundation, respectively, development partners and the organised private sector lauded the adoption of the new plan.
A holistic approach, they underpinned, was needed to address fundamental issues in the food system.
The Council also received presentations on the National Food Consumption and Micro-Nutrient Survey 2021, the Food System Summit 2021 as well as the Nutrition for Growth Summit, from the Secretary, National Committee on Food and Nutrition, Mrs Chito Nelson.
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