From promises to progress: assessing Nigeria’s nutrition commitments

From promises to progress: assessing Nigeria’s nutrition commitments

This briefing reviews aspects of nutrition sector governance, which are supported by the DFID funded programme Working to Improve Nutrition in Northern Nigeria (WINNN) implemented by UNICEF, Save the Children and Action Against Hunger, in partnership with the Government of Nigeria. This briefing reviews progress at national level and in four of the states that WINNN supports: Jigawa, Kebbi, Katsina, and Zamfara. It outlines progress during a one-year period, ending October 2014.

Key recommendations include:

  • Government funding for nutrition has been low overall. If Nigeria is to achieve its objective to tackle child malnutrition, political leaders must promote adequate funding for nutrition work at all levels, and the timely release of such funds.
  • State government attention is largely focused on CMAM and the procurement of nutrition commodities. There is a need for greater government focus on the prevention of malnutrition and strengthening of IYCF promotion.
  • Nutrition plans have been developed at national level and in the WINNN focal states, but focus largely on health sector interventions. Tackling malnutrition requires strengthened intersectoral coordination and integration of nutrition sensitive interventions.
  • Health workers and volunteers have actively engaged in the nutrition work, yet there has been some attrition of volunteers and challenges with CMAM volunteer travel to remote communities. The sustainability of nutrition work requires attention to the geographical reach of the volunteer model and the incentives system for community volunteers.