Government at all levels has been enjoined to prioritise the food and nutrition needs of the poorest and most vulnerable households in the country.
The executive secretary, Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria, (CS-SUNN), Beatrice Eluaka, made the call during the commemoration of the World Food Day, organised by Action Against Hunger in collaboration with other partners in Abuja.
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She said they could do so by expanding and improving emergency food assistance and social protection programmes.
She also called for prioritisation of nutrition in Nigeria through improvement in budgetary allocations and releases, while ensuring transparency and accountability in the use of funds directed at addressing malnutrition.
The deputy country director, Action Against Hunger, Adama Diarrassou, said the United Nation’s Global State of Food Security and Nutrition Report showed that almost 690million people suffered huger around the world in 2019, an increase of 10million from 2018.
He said the situation was expected to worsen in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and that majority of the victims were women and children.
Minister of Women Affairs Dame Paullen Tallen said Nigeria had the second largest number of children affected by malnutrition globally, with more than 2.5million of them suffering from acute malnutrition.
Senator Abubakar Kyari, who represents Borno North-East in the National Assembly, said the COVID-19 pandemic had worsened the deplorable condition of the people of the state who have been battling insecurity, which has resulted to loss of lives, properties and means of livelihood.