Action Against Hunger (AAH) has raised concerns over the perceived low awareness about the prevalence of hunger in northwest Nigeria. The humanitarian organisation called for a renewed stakeholder commitment in the response to chronic and acute malnutrition in children in the subregion.
The organisation’s call is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) two, which aims to ‘end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture’.
In 2021, more than 800,000 children were projected to suffer from acute malnutrition, including 300,000 with severe acute malnutrition (SAM), according to data from the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
In northwest Nigeria, cases of malnutrition were reported to be more severe with Kebbi State alone experiencing a chronic malnutrition rate of 66 percent, more than 20 percent higher than Borno state in the northeast.
Sokoto State, also in the northwest, recorded close to 18 percent of children suffering from wasting and 6.5 percent from protein deficiency. “Sometimes, the needs in the northwest are not really known to everyone; most of the time, concentration is on the northeast”, the News Agency of Nigeria quoted Rangaiya Kanaganathan, Head of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
“But there is a high level of malnutrition in comparison with the northeast. AAH started its project in the northwest in Jigawa, because of the high level of malnutrition there. An example is that although we talked more about COVID-19, the cholera outbreak in 2021 in these parts killed more persons than COVID-19. The information in the media is limited, we have tried to get some funding for the north-west, even the donors really do not understand what is happening in the northwest” he added. Development Diaries