CS-SUNN calls for improved nutrition funding in 2023 budget
The Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition (CS-SUNN) has urged the Federal and State Governments to improve nutrition funding in their 2023 budgetary allocations.
Dr Mbang Kooffrey-Ada, the acting Secretary, Board of Trustees, CS-SUNN, made the plea on Monday at a two-day review meeting on nutrition budget in Lagos.
The meeting, organised by CS-SUNN, centred on allocation, releases and utilisation of nutrition budget with key stakeholders from the legislature and nutrition line at the Federal ministries, Kano and Lagos States.
Kooffrey-Ada said that an improved nutrition budget would impact reduction in infant morbidity and mortality figures and improve economic outlook for the states.
“The reality on the ground is that nutrition funding in Nigeria is suboptimal.
“This is further worsened by insecurity in the country, food insecurity arising from herders-farmer crises, climate change and post COVID-19 pandemic supply chain issues, among other local factors.
“The threat of a global recession, as a result of the ongoing Ukraine-Russia crisis, cannot be ignored.
Since late February, the war has negatively impacted global food prices,” she said.
According to her, the factors further worsen the country’s under-nutrition status, as Nigeria ranks second highest with the burden of stunting globally and over 30 per cent of children under five years are malnourished.
Kooffrey-Ada said that malnutrition poses a significant public health threat and developmental challenge for the country, stressing the imperative for increased budgetary allocations to nutrition.
Also, Mr Sunday Okoronkwo, Executive Secretary, CS-SUNN, said under-nutrition was a vicious cycle that predisposed individuals, especially children to infection.
According to him, Nigeria loses over 2000 under-five years old children to malnutrition daily.
Okoronkwo said that fighting malnutrition requires a multi-sectoral approach to achieve timely and effective results.
He said that the PINNS-2.0 project implemented by CS-SUNN and other nutrition stakeholders, highlighted the need for the government’s commitment to improving nutrition indices through strong nutrition governance and budget.
Similarly, Mrs Christy Yunanah, the Chief Planning Officer, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, said that N16.157 billion was allocated to nutrition by the Federal Government in 2019.
“Of the funding managed by the government, only slightly over half (54 per cent) was allocated by development partners.
“The remaining 46 per cent of the budget for nutrition was financed through public funding,” she said.
Yunanah said that increased investment in the nutrition sector was critical to hunger reduction, malnutrition and poverty; improved food security, employment and enhanced resilience to disaster and shocks.
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