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Malnutrition: Stakeholders Advocate Improved Govt Commitments To Nutrition

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Stakeholders in nutrition have appealed to the Enugu State Government for timely  release and utilisation of funds to improve  nutritional status of children in the state to reduce malnutrition.

They made the appeal in a communiqué issued and jointly signed by Mr Chukwuemeka Neboh— Chairman Communique Drafting Committee and others at the end of a two-day meeting to develop Enugu State 2024 Nutrition Annual Operational Plan (AOP) on Wednesday in Enugu.

The two-day capacity building meeting was organised for members of the Enugu State Committee for Food and Nutrition (SCFN) and  Civil Society Scaling up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) in collaboration with UNICEF.

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According to the group, there is need for timely release and utilisation of budgetary allocations for food and nutrition activities in the 2024 financial year for the growth and development of children in Enugu State.

To achieve this, the group
emphasised the need for improve collaboration and partnership among relevant MDAs dealing with food and nutrition in the state.

The group, however, called for sustained sensitisation of policy makers on food and nutrition issues, noting that more  nutritionist should be recruited to expedite actions on food and nutrition.

The stakeholders also seek for more effort in strengthening, monitoring and evaluation of programme implementation.

“We advocate for improved government commitments and ownership of food and nutrition programmes in approving budget lines in relevant MDAs.

“Step up advocacy to high level policymakers to review and extend maternity leave with pay up to six months as well as scaling up funding for nutrition to meet up with UNICEF standard of USD 3 million by 2024.

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“Strengthen the capacity of State ministry of budget and planning in effective coordination in line with the state Multi-sectoral Plan of Action on Food and Nutrition,” they said.

Identify and explore windows for resource mobilisation and funding, the stakeholders, advised the state government to develop Annual Work Plan for each MDAs.

“They should carry out mapping of stakeholders for increased advocacy and  budget tracking to ensure proper utilisation of funds released.

“Government should ensure availability of timely and quality data as well as the
establishment of  monitoring and evaluation mechanism for food and nutrition activities in the state.

“Ensure strategic advocacy to the LGAs executive chairmen and legislative leadership for nutrition financing at the grassroots levels by establishing Local Government Committee for Food and Nutrition,” they advised.

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