UNICEF, Jigawa combat malnutrition with food items worth N500m

Umar Namadi, governor of Jigawa, says his government is committed to its partnership with UNICEF to improve the nutritional status of women and children of the state.

Namadi spoke on Tuesday after UNICEF handed over 12,400 cartons of ready to use therapeutic foods (RUTF) to the state government.

The therapeutic foods will be used to treat 14,000 children battling wasting — a condition where a child is too thin for height.

This initiative, funded through the child nutrition fund (CNF) and worth about N500 million, was procured under a matching fund arrangement between the state government and UNICEF child health grant with a 1:1 funding ratio.


“As a government, we appreciate UNICEF’s effort as a significant move to combat malnutrition,” the governor said.

Jigawa state faces a high burden of malnutrition, with 64% of children stunted, 9.6% wasted, and 81.9% suffering from anemia.

On her part, Cristian Munduate, UNICEF representative in Nigeria, said: “The commitment of Jigawa state in addressing malnutrition has been exemplary.


“The Child Nutrition Fund has allowed us to double our impact, ensuring that more children receive the life-saving treatment they need and I hope other state governments will be encouraged to replicate this effort.

“UNICEF will provide Multiple Maternal Supplements (MMS) free of cost for pregnant women in Jigawa state to improve pregnancy outcomes, even as our commitment to enhancing nutrition and health outcomes for the people of Jigawa, especially women and children, remains steadfast.”

Jigawa was one of the early adopters of the CNF, releasing N250 million in 2023. UNICEF matched the amount, enabling the procurement of 12,400 cartons of RUTF. The initiative will treat children with severe wasting, marking the largest contribution by any state in Nigeria under the CNF to date.

Malnutrition in Nigeria is on the rise, driven by conflict, forced displacement, and increasing food insecurity due to limited accessibility and affordability.

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