Tuesday 6 November 2018

Communiqué from Abuja 3-Day Media Training, Field Visit by CS-SUNN

Communiqué issued at the end of a 3-day Media Training/Field visit at Consort Luxury Suites, Abuja from October 29th to November 1st, 2018.
Theme: The Journalists’ Role in Ensuring Transparency and Accountability in Allocation and Use of Health/Nutrition Funds in Nigeria. 
The Civil Society Scaling up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) under the Partnership for Improving Nigeria Nutrition Systems (PINNS) project, organized the training to build capacity of media practitioners to develop stories and programmes focusing on transparency and accountability in allocation and use of health/nutrition funds in focal states and the country at large. The training was also organized to engender passion and commitment to reporting health and nutrition issues through site visit to Kwali Primary Health Care (PHC) Centre for firsthand experience of the challenges in the sector among other important issues.

It was observed that:

1. Malnutrition is a multi-sectorial issue of serious concern that requires a collective response.

2. Nigeria loses over 2000 children under five years of age on daily basis due to malnutrition.

3. Over 145 women of child bearing age die daily due to malnutrition.

4. The first 1000 days of life from the time of conception to a child’s second birth day is not prioritized.

5. Governments have not been making adequate budgetary allocation, approval, timely release and cash backing.

6. Where budgets are allocated and released, they focus more on the curative measures than preventive measures.

7. A malnourished child when immunized does not absorb/utilize the immunization.

8. There is low reportage of nutrition related issues in Nigeria.

9. 53% of deaths from child killer diseases is directly related to malnutrition.

10. Most mothers at the PHC are not practicing Exclusive Breast Feeding (EBF).

11. There is lack of male/husband involvement and support towards EBF.


1. Participants agreed that stakeholders (Government, Media, CSOs, care givers, Donor agencies etc) need to place emphasis on preventive than curative measures.

2. Government and policy makers should be held accountable for their commitments.

3. Journalists should be consistent in their reportage on nutrition.

4. Media practitioners should hold government accountable by getting enough information aimed at addressing nutrition issues.

5. Media should put nutrition at the front burner and influence policy decisions through their reportage for improved nutrition interventions.

6. Participants should advocate for policies to mainstream nutrition into agriculture.

7. Media should sensitize women on the need to exclusively breastfeed their children in the first six (6) months of life, without addition of water.

8. Media should also sensitize women to continue to breastfeed their children for two years in addition to adequate complementary feeding.

9. Media practitioners are encouraged to explore key components of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) so as to bring to the fore requisite solutions to the plights of women, children and other vulnerable groups.

10. Government should scale up and sustain existing interventions on nutrition.

11. Media should intensify campaign towards behavioral change, especially for men to support EBF.


Mr. Salihu Mohammed Alkali (chairman, drafting committee)

Priscilla Dennis (Mrs) (secretary, drafting committee)

Tuesday 30 October 2018

Public funding can’t end poverty, hunger - NaijaAgroNet

Public funding alone has been identified as not being enough to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and development even as international financing institutions must collaborate more strategically to leverage private investments, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This was the seemingly consensus of over 200 investors, business leaders, representatives from multilateral development institutions, and policy-makers and government officials from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas in attendance at 2018 Global Forum.

Educating Nigerians on nutrition requires media stepping up - NaijaAgroNet


Educating Nigerians is one of the cardinal points for the media in the country, especially on nutrition-related issues, which requires media practitioners to step up their games, says the Communications Officer at the Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), Mrs. Lilian Aja-mong, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Speaking at a 3-day media workshop on reporting nutrition which opened in Abuja, Monday, she noted the urgent need to step up media engagement in and around reporting nutrition and urged for redoubling of efforts.

Wednesday 29 August 2018



Distinguished Members of the Press,
It is indeed my pleasure to welcome you to this media engagement on the Partnership for Improving Nigeria Nutrition Systems issues, research findings, progress and call to action to improve salience of nutrition policy and funding on the agenda of the Lagos state government, holding today at Grandbee Hotel, Lagos State. I wish to convey CS-SUNN’s appreciation to you, members of the press for responding positively to our invitation.

Malnutrition remains a key contributor to infant and maternal mortality and morbidity, poor cognitive development, increased severity of diseases which adversely affects productivity in Nigeria. According to the National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) 2013, more than 5 million new-borns in Nigeria lack essential nutrients and antibodies that would protect them from diseases and death as they are not being exclusively breastfed.

The National Nutrition and Health Survey (NNHS) 2014, puts Exclusive Breastfeeding rate in Nigeria at 25%. Also, the 2017 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) puts stunting rate at 43.6% as against 32.9% in 2015, wasting in 2017 at 10.8% as against 7.2% in 2015 and Underweight at 31.5% in 2017 as against 19.4% in 2015.
For Lagos State, The MICS 2017 puts Stunting rate at 11.4%, Wasting at 11.4% and Underweight at 14.5%.

These negative results indicate an alarming rising trend in Nigeria’s malnutrition burden which will continue to further impede the nation’s economic development if not checked as globally, stunting is currently an indicator for measuring a country’s development.

Despite these negative indices, we however must not fail to commend the Lagos State Government for extending maternity leave for female civil servants to 6 months and introducing a 10-day paternity leave for fathers. This policy is a step in the right direction towards promoting Exclusive Breastfeeding which ensures optimal physical growth and brain development of children, engenders them to thrive well and live up to their full potentials at adulthood. It also prevents malnutrition.

We are therefore calling on other state governments in Nigeria to emulate the Lagos State Government as this will contribute to encouraging the practice of Exclusive Breastfeeding especially among working mothers thereby boosting Nigeria’s EBF rate and contributing to a reduction in malnutrition in the country.

Recently, at the just concluded Ministerial Press Briefing in Abuja to commemorate the 2018 World Breastfeeding Week, the Honorable Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole revealed that the Ministry of Health was working closely with the Ministry of Labor to extend Maternity leave in Nigeria from 4 to 6 months. We are urging the Ministers and other key stakeholders involved in the process of implementing this policy to fast-track the process of this extension as it will go a long way to encourage and boost Nigeria’s EBF rates which will contribute to a reduction in malnutrition.

The Partnership for Improving Nigeria Nutrition Systems (PINNS), a product of consultations between a Donor/CS-SUNN is targeted at strengthening the Nigeria nutrition systems to be more Result-driven, Effective, Serviceable, Efficient and Transparent (RESET) in delivering on their mandate. It is also aimed at holding government accountable on commitments made to allocate, release and use transparently funds for implementation of high impact Nutrition interventions in Nigeria through evidence-based advocacy.

This project will also contribute to a reduction in malnutrition particularly among women and children in Nigeria as is focused on strengthening governance, policy implementation, effective coordination, financing, building the capacity of state actors, generation and effective communication of evidence as promoting accountability.

The Civil Society Scaling -Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) recognizes that the Media are instruments of mobilization, awareness creation, information exchange and dissemination and that they have a great role to play in setting nutrition as an agenda for public discourse. Without the media, it might be difficult for CS-SUNN and others stakeholders in the nutrition circle to communicate nutrition information and monitor nutrition interventions to ascertain optimal delivery of benefits to Nigerians especially, the vulnerable women and children in Lagos state.

This media engagement on PINNS issues, research findings, progress and call to action is aimed at:
1.     Informing Lagos State Correspondents about PINNS project, issues and prayers
2.     Establishing media role/responsibilities for increased visibility of PINNS/Nutrition issues in Lagos State

3.     Securing buy-in of media for smooth implementation of PINNS in Lagos.
4.     Increasing salience of PINNS and nutrition issues among Media in Lagos State.
This engagement will further jumpstart CS-SUNN’s media team in Lagos State with a common understanding of the goal and objectives of the project.

We therefore urge the media to step up reportage of nutrition issues to inform and spur policy makers and concerned stakeholders to take the right steps that will curb malnutrition in Nigeria, particularly Lagos State. We would on our part, continue to equip members of the press with useful and relevant information that would help and enable them step up thorough and factual reportage of Nutrition.

On this note, I welcome you all again to this Media Engagement on PINNS. We look forward to a most successful engagement with members of the press.

Thank you all.

Tuesday 28 August 2018

African Dev. Bank, FAO target investments to end malnutrition


27 August 2018, Rome - The African Development Bank (AfDB) and FAO today agreed to boost joint efforts aimed at catalysing agriculture sector investments in Africa to end hunger and malnutrition and increase prosperity throughout the continent. In terms of the agreement, the AfDB and FAO are committed to raise up to $100 million over five years, to support joint partnership activities.
Specifically, the new strategic alliance seeks to enhance the quality and impact of investment in food security, nutrition, social protection, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and rural development.
AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina and FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva signed the agreement, which builds on a longstanding collaboration between their organizations, at the UN agency's Rome headquarters.
"FAO and the AfDB are deepening and broadening our partnership to assist African countries achieve the sustainable development goals. Leveraging investments in agriculture, including from the private sector, is key to lift millions of people from hunger and poverty in Africa and to ensure that enough food is produced and that enough rural jobs are created for the continent's growing population," said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.
AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina said: "The signing of this supplementary agreement is a milestone moment in the relationship between the African Development Bank and FAO. It signals our joint commitment to accelerate the delivery of high quality programs and increased investment for public-private-partnerships in Africa's agriculture sector. This will help us achieve the vision of making agriculture a business, as enshrined in the Bank's Feed Africa strategy."
The Bank's Feed Africa strategy, launched in 2015, targets to invest $24 billion into African agriculture over a ten-year period. The aim is that of improving agricultural policies, markets, infrastructure and institutions to ensure that agricultural value chains are well developed and that improved technologies are made available to reach several millions farmers.

A programme of action
The strengthened partnership between the AfDB and FAO envisages a collaborative programme of action with a series of outcomes, including: better and more effective AfDB financed investment operations; increased public-private-partnership investments; a better investment climate and portfolio performance; and, advocacy and joint resources mobilization. FAO's technical assistance would cover areas such as sustainable agricultural intensification and diversification, scaling up value chain innovations, youth in agriculture and agribusiness, agricultural statistics, climate smart agricultureblue growth/blue economy, food security and nutrition, agri-food system, food safety and standards, women's economic empowerment, promotion of responsible private investments, resilience and risk management and capacity building for transition states.
The collaborative programme would be created through an initial financial contribution of up to $15 million by the two institutions.
The collaboration between the AfDB and FAO began in 1968. Since then, FAO has provided technical assistance to the formulation of 161 AfDB financed projects, valued at over $3.7 billion representing about 21 percent of AfDB's support to the agricultural sector.
Recent collaboration between the Bank and the FAO include project formulation support in Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea; technical assistance for the development of Blue economy programmes in Côte d'Ivoire, Morocco and Cape Verde, feasibility studies for agricultural transformation centres in Zambia, Tanzania and Côte d'Ivoire; and participation in the African Leaders for Nutrition initiative.
The Bank and the FAO have also contributed to a series of continental dialogues on post-harvest loss reduction, and the Great Green Wall of the Sahel and Sahara Initiative.

Pix: FAO Director General Josè Graziano da Silva and Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, signing the Supplementary Cooperation Agreement between the two Institutions

FAO/Giulio Napolitano.

Journalists & editors:
For video, photos, audio clips contact: (+39) 06 570 53625 or FAO-newsroom@fao.org.

Monday 13 August 2018

High level advocacy for nutrition in Africa

Cairo, August 11, 2018 – Recognising the debilitating effects of hidden hunger, African governments and stakeholders have over the years been implementing several strategic interventions. Among the interventions are food fortification, dietary diversification, vitamin and mineral supplementation, public health interventions such as deworming and of late, biofortification.

As part of their efforts to promote Food and Nutrition Security for Sustainable Agriculture in Africa, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), organised a one-day high level advocacy event the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) in in Cairo, Egypt. During the event, it was noted that increased efforts and support from governments and stakeholders to improve nutrition and food systems are still needed. ‘Embracing food-based approaches including biofortification in national and regional agriculture and nutrition policies, strategies, programmes and investment plans,’ was the theme of this event.

H.E Hon Kone Gognon, Chairperson of the PAP Committee on Agriculture opened the meeting and stressed that the theme for the meeting was pertinent, with a focus on ensuring food and nutrition security. He pointed out that biofortification was already flagged as crucial in Africa.

Speaking on behalf of the FARA Executive Director, Dr Abdulrazak Ibrahim stated that FARA recognises the debilitating effects of hidden hunger, and highlighted FARA’s efforts, over the last years, in mainstreaming FNSSA within the National Agricultural and Innovation System (NAIS).  

This was echoed by Dr Rose Omari, from FARA’s Building Nutritious Food Basket project, who elucidated the fact that micronutrient deficiency and its consequences are not widely known, as this is ‘hidden hunger.’ “Therefore,” Dr Omari said, “Enhancing micronutrients content of staple crops during production is a critical intervention.”

Ms Bibi Giyose, Senior Advisor on Nutrition, spoke on behalf of the NEPAD Agency’s CEO, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki. She brought to the fore the fact that nutrition should not be viewed as a technical issue, as it also has political, structural and numerous other dimensions that dictate the need to find multi-sectorial solutions.

Prof Francis Zotor from the University of Health and Allied Sciences and African Nutrition Society, expressed a similar sentiment with a call to strengthen synergies in moving the nutrition agenda forward on the continent.

Present at the event were legislators from the following countries: Central African Republic; Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Niger, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia.

It was concluded that while hidden hunger is real, reversing it is also possible. Increasing micronutrient content of commonly consumed foods through biofortification, especially to improve nutritional status of low income households will go a long way in redressing hidden hunger. African Parliamentarians were called upon to follow up on declarations made by governments to ensure their implementation.


Monday 23 July 2018

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Wednesday 11 July 2018

Nigeria’s rising population, a security threat, deserves equal economic growth says MeCAM

Lagos, Nigeria, July 11, 2018: Nigeria must multiply its efforts to strengthen the economy and provide all the necessary social and physical infrastructure to keep up with the country's explosive population growth, the Media Centre Against Child Malnutrition (MeCAM) has said.
MeCAM, a media advocacy group against child malnutrition, is determined to strengthen the agro-nutrition capacity and interest of its members professionally in contribution to nation-building and emancipation from extreme hunger especially in children, women as espoused in the Goal 2 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
MeCAM National Coordinator, Remmy Nweke said in a press statement commemorating the World Population Day that Nigeria’s estimated 192m population is not sustainable and may well worsen its security challenges and leave more children malnourished, unless it is matched by commensurate economic growth and infrastructure.
“Such infrastructure must include affordable and accessible medical facilities that would not only boost public health but will offer all the assistance for family planning to check unwanted pregnancy and keep population in check as well as have healthy children,” according to the statement.
“Overpopulation begets insecurity especially on food and put pressure on family fiscal economy, could lead to school dropouts, and lack of money for balance diet which is key to effective breastfeeding by mothers.
“Importantly, MECAM urges the government to make life more abundant for the people by working on all the fundamentals of the economy that would support its population. Also, we call on the governments to double their efforts on education, health care and access to other basic needs so that the rising population would be an asset instead of liabilities and source of security threats.”

Commemorated every July 11, the World Population Day was established by the then-Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989, an outgrowth of the interest generated by the Day of Five Billion, which was observed on 11 July 1987. The objective is to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues. This year’s commemoration was themed “Family Planning is a Human Right”.

Wednesday 27 June 2018

GAIN Executive Director emerges 2018 World Food Prize winner

The World Food Prize Foundation has awarded the 2018 World Food Prize to Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and David Nabarro, former special adviser to the UN Secretary General.  Announcing the award Ambassador Quinn, World Food Prize President cited the recipients for their “extraordinary intellectual and policy leadership in bringing maternal and child nutrition to the forefront of the global food security agenda and thereby significantly reducing childhood stunting”
The Prize was founded in 1986 by Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Norman E. Borlaug and is the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.
An economist, Lawrence Haddad has been working to advance nutrition and food security for three decades, starting with field work in the Philippines on the impacts of the commercialisation of agriculture on nutrition status. He taught at the University of Warwick for 3 years, was a researcher at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) where he was the Director of the Food Consumption and Nutrition Division, and he directed the UK’s world-leading Institute for Development Studies (IDS). In 2014 he was a founding co-chair of the Global Nutrition Report and was a principal author of the Report for its first three years. 
In his words, “I am honoured to receive this award, which has always focused on the critical and urgent issues of the time. For our generation, I believe the issue is not only how to feed the world, but how to nourish it sustainably. Six of the top 10 risk factors for the global burden of disease are related to poor diet. This is not surprising because more than 1 in 3 people on the planet eat too little food, too little food of the right type or too much food of the wrong type. Were he here today I am sure Dr. Borlaug would have been at the forefront of the fight to create sustainable food systems capable of addressing all forms of malnutrition – from wasting and stunting to overweight and obesity”.
Lawrence Haddad joined GAIN in 2016, which, under his leadership, has focused on making nutritious and safe foods more available, affordable and desirable for those most in need.  
In his reaction to the news, GAIN Nigeria Country Director, Dr Michael Ojo said "Dr. Haddad has deeply challenged us through his consistent, passionate and rigorous use of data and evidence to compel leaders in countries across the world to invest in nutrition, Nigeria inclusive. Under Lawrence’s leadership, GAIN is now at the forefront of action to improve the quality of diets by making nutritious foods more affordable accessible and desirable for everyone.  This is central to the partnership work we are supporting in Nigeria.  By honouring Lawrence, the Prize is endorsing this broad definition of food security - encouraging to us not only feed the world, but nourish it”.
This Prize is shared with Dr David Nabarro and in his reaction, Dr Haddad said “On behalf of everyone at GAIN, I would like to congratulate David and say how honoured I am to share this award with him. His achievement turning Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) into a movement changed the nutrition landscape forever.  He set the template: be inclusive and yet decisive, marry science with action; facilitate engagement of all stakeholders--even when inconvenient; and champion nutrition at all levels, from the grassroots front line worker to the highest levels of government and everything in-between”
Also reacting to the news, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said: “Like Dr. Norman Borlaug before them, Drs. Haddad and Nabarro have dedicated their careers to reducing hunger and malnutrition. Their work has deepened our understanding of nutrition’s impact not only on individual health, but on human capital and economic growth – compelling leaders in countries across the world to invest in evidence-based solutions”.
The formal presentation of the World Food Prize takes place in Des Moines in October 2018.

Note to Editors:
1.                  Say something about GAIN…The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) was launched at the UN in 2002 to tackle the human suffering caused by malnutrition. Working with partners, GAIN aims at making healthier food choices more affordable, more available, and more desirable thereby improving the consumption of nutritious and safe food for all people, especially the most vulnerable.
2.                  The World Food Prize (WFP) is the preeminent global award in food, its patron Norman Borlaug was the genius behind the green Revolution and it has been associated with innovation for 30+ years
3.                  Both Lawrence and David are honoured for their efforts to bring together multiple actors – community grassroots, scientists, businesses, and decisionmakers in government – to bring about essential policy changes to address the underlying causes of all forms of malnutrition – poor diet being the biggest cause of global ill health.
4.                  Please include the link https://www.gainhealth.org/knowledge-centre/the-man-who-nourished-the-world/ for a blog from Dr Lawrence Haddad on the WFP

Pix: Dr. Haddad

Monday 15 January 2018

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