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April 14, 2024

GAIN Calls for Collaboration  to Address Malnutrition in Nigeria

The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) has emphasized the need for enhanced collaboration across the food value chain to bolster Nigeria’s efforts in combating malnutrition. 

Lawrence Haddad, GAIN’s executive director, made this call during the SUN Business Network Nigeria annual members convening themed ‘Building a National Collaborative Mechanism for Nutrition in Nigeria: A Catalyst for Change’ held in Lagos.

Haddad stressed the significance of partnerships among stakeholders in the food sector, highlighting their pivotal role in accelerating progress towards resolving malnutrition challenges in the country. 

He commended entrepreneurs producing nutritious food and advocated for their support in producing affordable options through small package sizes and shorter value chains, addressing Nigeria’s escalating cost of living crisis.

While acknowledging the Nigerian government’s efforts in prioritizing food security and nutrition, Haddad urged for greater emphasis on nutritious foods such as fish, eggs, dairy, fruits, and vegetables. 

He emphasized the importance of developing a comprehensive plan involving government, development partners, and the private sector to address malnutrition effectively.

Tomisin Odunmbaku, national coordinator of the SUN Business Network, emphasized the urgent need for concerted efforts and strategic partnerships to ensure the availability and accessibility of affordable healthier diets. 

“With millions of Nigerians classified as multidimensionally poor and a significant number of children lacking adequate intellectual stimulation, nutrition remains a crucial driver of poverty across the nation.

Despite extensive investments and interventions, malnutrition indicators have worsened over the past decade, underscoring the necessity for collective action.”

On his part, Micheal Ojo, country director of GAIN Nigeria, highlighted the organization’s investments in Nigeria’s agricultural landscape to support affordable and accessible nutritious foods.

Ojo identified challenges such as climate change and insecurity affecting the country’s food system, limiting the impact of support initiatives. 

However, GAIN remains committed to supporting food entrepreneurs and promoting biofortified crops like Vitamin A cassava, maize, and orange-fleshed potatoes to address malnutrition effectively and ensure food security for all Nigerians.

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