By Philip Yatai
Kaduna, Jan. 7, 2021 The Kaduna State Government says it needs N29 billion to address the scourge of malnutrition in the state.
Mr Mahmoud Yamusa, the Permanent Secretary, Planning and Budget Commission (PBC) also the Chairman, State Committee on Food and Nutrition said this in Kaduna on Wednesday, at the opening of a two-day workshop on resource mobilisation.
The workshop was organised by PBC with support from Save the Children International (SCI) for nutrition Desk Officers, local government nutrition focal persons, and directors of finance in relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Yamusa, represented by the Director, Development Aid Coordination, PBC, Mr Salisu Lawal, stressed the need for all relevant stakeholders to support the state in mobilising the needed resources.
He said that various nutrition policies, plans and strategies had been developed by the state, adding that there was a huge gap in financing the planned interventions.
“The state and the local government areas are doing all they can to make the needed resources available, but they cannot do it alone. We need all the support we can get from all stakeholders.
“For example, the Kaduna State Multi-Sectoral Strategic Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition was developed as a tool to implement nutrition sensitive and specific interventions by the MDAs.
“We, therefore, need resources to ensure that we implement all planned interventions to be able to achieve the 2021 targets,” he said.
Malam Isah Ibrahim, Nutrition Advocacy Advisor, SCI, commended the state and the local governments for maintaining the more than one-billion-naira annual budget for nutrition interventions.
Ibrahim pointed out the huge N28 billion deficits required to address all malnutrition cases affecting about one million children under five years in the state.
He pledged SCI continued support and advised the government to organise a nutrition summit to galvanise support of the organised private sector and other critical stakeholders.
“Kaduna State is doing a lot compared to other states in the North West but much needs to be done, particularly in resource mobilisation to make progress,” he added.
He said that the objective of the workshop was to build the capacity of state and local governments’ officials on ways to mobilise resources to implement planned activities.
Ibrahim noted that the workshop was organised to enlighten participants about funding opportunities in each MDA for nutrition intervention in the 2021 fiscal year.
“We also want to make a case for increased investment in nutrition by securing the buy-in of the state and local government officials to prioritise nutrition as part of the government agenda on human capital development,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Silas Ideva, the Stata Coordinator, Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), said there was the need for stakeholders to support the government in the fight against malnutrition.
Ideva added that there was also the need for improved budgetary allocation, timely releases, and efficient utilisation of released funds to create the desired change.