Wednesday, May 31, 2023


UNICEF to empower over 300k mothers, caregivers for ‘vulnerable’ children in north-east

UNICEF to empower over 300k mothers, caregivers for ‘vulnerable’ children in north-east
March 29
15:54 2023

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says the organisation has commenced a new intervention programme to prevent malnutrition among vulnerable children in the north-east.

In a statement on Wednesday, UNICEF said over 300,000 mothers and caregivers would be empowered with nutrition skills in Yobe and Borno.

The intervention programme is in partnership with the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom government.

The multisectoral integrated nutrition action (MINA) project is said to be implemented by UNICEF and other partners in 24 LGAs of Borno and Yobe.


The project will run till March 2025.

UNICEF said despite having relative access to safely managed drinking water, children in the two states are still at a high risk of malnutrition.

The organisation said over one million people still practice open defecation in the regions, adding that it escalates the risk of malnutrition and stunting.


“A humanitarian intervention focused on providing integrated food, nutrition sanitation, and protection services in Nigeria’s north-east region will empower over 300,000 mothers and caregivers,” the statement reads.

“The intervention aims to enhance dietary practices, home-based malnutrition screening skills, provision of high impact lifesaving nutrition interventions (such as early identification and referral of acute malnutrition cases for treatment), and micronutrient supplementation to prevent infections among children. These interventions are aimed at improving the survival of children affected by conflict.

“With approximately 1 in 4 children aged 12-23 months not vaccinated, the north-east region has one of the highest numbers of unvaccinated children in Nigeria, according to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey and National Immunization Coverage Survey (MICS-NICS 2021).

“The project leverages a bouquet of essential services and community structures to provide integrated essential services for children, including birth registration and immunization services, nutrition counselling, cash transfer support, the establishment of vegetable gardens, market-based sanitation, and hygiene interventions, mothers’ groups, nutrition mobilisers, and WASH committees.


“Critically, the highly successful mother-led Mid-Upper Arm Circumference programme is being expanded while roving midwives will be deployed to hard-to-reach areas to improve the nutrition status and overall wellbeing of the most disadvantaged children.”

Cristian Munduate, the UNICEF representative in Nigeria, commended the partners for their support, noting that many children in the country would benefit from the programme.

“The first 1000 days of life of a child is an unmatched window of opportunity. UNICEF is grateful for the support of the FCDO to invest early in the lives of some of the most vulnerable children in the world,’’ Munduate said.

“It is heartwarming that through the capacity building and empowerment approach of this project, thousands of children will benefit from this intervention in the long term.”





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