The federal government has announced the inauguration of an ad-hoc committee to address the issues of malnutrition in the nation, and to support the states in the North Eastern regions affected by acute starvation.
The development was made known by Mr. Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
Mr. Akande noted that the vice president had constituted the group earlier in the year when he called a virtual meeting of the National Committee on Food and Nutrition.
Mr. Akande stated that the committee “will provide high-level strategic advice and support to the secretariat of the National Council on Nutrition.” He said: “The national policy on food and nutrition vision and strategy is poised to alleviate starvation in the north eastern states, thereby facilitating nutrition positioning and comparative advantage to enable maximum impact. The mandate of the committee includes the provision of technical assistance to the NCN and Secretariat; facilitation of inter and intra-agency coordination, supervision and monitoring, and implementation of policies to combat malnutrition.”
The states in northern Nigeria are the most affected by the two forms of malnutrition – stunting and wasting. High rates of malnutrition pose significant public health and development challenges for the country. Stunting, in addition to an increased risk of death, is also linked to poor cognitive development, a lowered performance in education and low productivity in adulthood – all contributing to economic losses estimated to account for as much as 11 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Daily Times, Pg. 19.