How U.S. Wants To Reduce Poverty, Malnutrition In Nigeria
There is poverty and hunger in Nigeria; the situation has left many children malnourished.
The United States of America wants to help the oil-rich nation reduce the impact of hunger, malnutrition and poverty.
A minimum of 11 million Nigerians in 11 states would have, by 2022, benefited from the U.S. five-year Global Food Security Strategy (GFSS), an official document reveals.
The initiative is included in the U.S. Country Plan document which was made public in Lagos on Thursday.
The document states that the GFSS will run from 2017 to 2022 and it will be propelled by the USAID/Nigeria Mission.
The USAID Feed the Future (FTF) Team Lead, Dr Osagie Aimiuwu, said the agency would leverage on the Nigerian government’s effort to build a robust agricultural economy.
According to Aimiuwu, the target areas or Zone of Influence (ZOI) include: Kaduna and Kebbi states in the northwest region, as well as Adamawa, Borno, Gombe and Yobe states in the northeast.
The ZOI spreads to Benue and Niger in the north central region, Cross River and Delta in the South-South region, and Ebonyi in the southeast.
“Poverty is closely associated with malnutrition. Malnutrition has been described as Nigeria’s silent crisis, contributing to half of all child deaths in the country.
“The core north bears the greatest burden with associated child stunting rates of 54% in the northwest, followed by the northeast (42%) and north central (29%), this is compared to 12.1% in the southwest.
“Similar disparities are reflected among the adult female population with 13.5% of women in the northwest suffering from acute malnutrition compared with 2.6% in the southeast.
“The programme components are aligned with the objectives of achieving inclusive agricultural-led economic growth and improving food and nutrition security.
“Other components are building resilient communities and systems that will anchor the implementation of the strategy,’’ he said.
Aimiuwu explained that under GFSS, USAID is prioritising increasing productivity and market linkages along 5 selected agricultural commodity value chains: aquaculture, cocoa, maize, rice (rain-fed and irrigated), and soybean.
Nigeria’s estimated population of 182 million in 2016 is projected to reach 440 million by 2050 at an annual growth rate of 3.2% and for Aimiuwu, there could be negative implications on food production and security.
There are other challenges facing Nigeria at the moment and one of them is the agitation for secession.
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