Nigeria to launch food policy, targets hunger reduction

Zainab Ahmed

Zainab Ahmed

The Federal Government will on Tuesday launch the revised National Policy on Food and Nutrition (NPFN), aimed at reducing hunger and malnutrition by 50 per cent by 2025.

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, announced this at a news conference on the maiden edition of Nutrition Week in Abuja.

Ahmed said the policy would target the vulnerable groups as primary actors in creating and implementing malnutrition solutions.

She said the policy would help to increase exclusive breastfeeding rate from 17 per cent in 2013 to 65 per cent by 2025.

“It will increase the percentage of children aged six months and above who receive appropriate complementary feeding from 10 per cent
in 2013 to 40 per cent by 2025.

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“It will reduce stunting rate among under-five feeding children from 37 per cent in 2013 by 2025; reduce childhood wasting, including Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) from 18 to 10 per cent.

“It will also achieve and sustain universal household access to iodized salt, increase coverage of zinc supplementation in diarrhoea management from seven to 50 per cent of all children needing treatment,’’ she said.

According to her, the policy will help to reduce anaemia among pregnant women from 67 per cent in 2003 to 33 per cent in 2025.

Ahmed said that the policy would help to reduce prevalence of diet-related non-communicable diseases by 25 per cent.

“The policy will increase coverage of Vitamin A supplementation from 41 per cent in 2013 to 65 per cent by 2025.

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” It will increase by 50 per cent households with relevant nutrition knowledge that will improve their nutritional status and boost access to potable water from 49 per cent to 85 per cent.

“`It will increase the number of relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) at all levels with functional nutritional unit by 75 per cent in 2017,’’ she said.

In addition, she said the policy would help government to mainstream nutrition objectives into social protection and safety net programmes of all MDAs linked to nutrition by 2020.

The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs Fatima Mede, said that the nutrition week was initiated in line with global best practices.

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Mede said it was initiated, among others, to intensify awareness generation on the importance of food and nutrition on child’s survival and its impact on development, economic growth and national development.

“To commemorate this maiden event, series of activities have been lined up and these include the launching of the policy by the Wife of the President, Hajia Aisha Buhari,’’ she said.

The NPFN is a 10-year blueprint for eradicating malnutrition for sustainable economic growth and development in the country.

The theme of the week is “Nutrition: Key to Sustainable Development.’’

Other activities scheduled for the week include launching of the food and nutrition, symposium and nutrition Walk.

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