By Suzzy Tolofari
The African Development Bank (AfDB) Board has approved one million dollars to support the fight against malnutrition in Borno State.
The bank announced this in a statement by the Senior Communications Officer, Nigeria Country Office, Mrs Fatimah Alkali, in Abuja.
It said that the grant was approved by the executive directors of the bank as emergency assistance to support the fight against malnutrition in the state.
The statement said that AfDB’s intervention would strengthen the on-going government and partners such as UNICEF, WFP and OCHA to support the northeastern region of the country.
“The Bank will focus on Borno State where the situation is dire, to rationalise funds and be more efficient.
“This will contribute to reducing malnutrition rate among the most vulnerable population mainly children under five years and women of childbearing age,’’ Alkali said.
“If these children are left untreated, it is envisaged that an estimated 59,320 would die.
“This intervention will augment efforts at attaining the target to reach 80 per cent of the estimated SAM cases in the region by 2017.
“Nigeria is currently in economic recession which has stretched the government’s capacity to address vulnerability; over 2.5 million children under five years are severely malnourished across the country and are nine times more likely to die than their counterparts.”
The intervention is aligned with one of the operational priorities of the bank’s 10-year strategy from 2013-2022.
The operational priorities of the bank are governance and accountability, which are reiterated in two of the High-5s: Feed Africa and improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.
In June, the Minister of Health declared a nutrition emergency in Borno.
The West and Central Africa Regional Food Security and Nutrition Working Group had called on the international community to respond, to prevent the situation from deteriorating. (NAN)