Civil society organisations have enjoined governments at all levels to fund and implement the National Multisectoral Plan of Action for Nutrition to guarantee optimal nutritional status for Nigerians.
Chairman CS-SUNN, Ekene Innocent Ifedilichukwu, and Chief Executive Officer, Food Basket Foundation International, Funmi Akinyele, made the call during a media parley to commemorate this year’s World Food Day themed, ‘Leave no one behind: Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life’.
They said governments could do this by scaling up priority high-impact nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions with a focus on the most vulnerable, especially women, children and internally displaced persons.
The CSOs said it is worrisome that a report issued by the UN World Food Programme and the FAO put Nigeria, at extremely high levels of food insecurity – projected at 19.5 million people in crisis or worse (CH Phase 3 and above) between June and August 2022.
While saying that this year’s World Food Day is calling for solidarity among all stakeholders in Nigeria- to build a sustainable Nigeria where everyone, everywhere has regular access to enough nutritious food, CS-SUNN and FBFI called for a transformation of Nigeria’s agrifood systems and the implementation of sustainable and holistic solutions that consider development in the long term.
They called for the 2022 Humanitarian Response Programme for Nigeria to commit and release 451 million dollars for food security, 59 million dollars for livelihood and 144 million dollars for nutrition interventions.
They also called for the promotion of “Climate-smart and environmentally friendly agricultural practices to preserve the earth’s natural resources, health, and the climate while also slowing the habitat destruction that contributes to disease outbreaks”.
Dr. Oyeleke Rasaq Oyinloye, Deputy Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in his presentation on the ‘Burden of Hunger and Food Insecurity in Nigeria’, said: “Policies must encourage the training and empowerment of youth and women in agricultural activities such as crop production, food processing, and entrepreneurship, to alleviate poverty, reduce unemployment, and increase agricultural production.”