TWELVE states are being targeted for reduction of stunting under a Federal Government and World Bank partnership to address malnutrition in Nigeria.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole stated in Abuja at a high level Consultative Meeting with State Governments on Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria, that the project would be financed by the World Bank while benefitting states would provide counterpart funding.
“Since we cannot cover all the 36 states at this initial stage, we have developed a number of criteria for state selection to ensure transparency. The first criterion is based on the burden of stunting. Today we have invited states with the highest burden of stunting in each of the six geo-political zones. The 12 states will be selected from among these 18 states based on the criteria that we have all agreed on today”.
Adewole said implementing the project would improve infant and young child feeding behaviors, breastfeeding, complementary feeding, increase the quantity and quality of nutrition services and ultimately reduce stunting in Nigeria.
On the economic benefit on investing in nutrition, the Minister noted that every $1 invested in interventions targeting stunting would bring about $10 in economic benefit; $1 invested in anemia prevention can yield up to $12 and $1 invested in improving exclusive breastfeeding can yield as much as $35,” Adewole said.
In his presentation, the World Bank Representative,Luc Laviolette said the project would last five years and each benefitting state is expected to contribute N250, 000,000 at N50, 000,000 per year.
At the end of the meeting the participating states agreed that official letter should be sent to the Governors Forum to enable them get firsthand information from the World Bank/Federal Ministry of Health on the project while the process of selection is going on.