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C/River Launches Policy on Food and Nutrition to Combat Malnutrition

Governor Bassey Otu’s administration has officially launched the state’s policy on food and nutrition, accompanied by a strategic multi-sector plan of action. The launch event, held at the Metropolitan Hotel in Calabar, was presided over by Deputy Governor Hon. Peter Odey, representing Governor Otu, along with representatives from UNICEF and the State Planning Commission NEGROIDHAVEN has confirmed.

In his address, Governor Otu reiterated his government’s commitment to improving the health and well-being of the people of Cross River State. He emphasized the target to become a state with healthier individuals by 2027 through significant investments in food and nutrition programs. The governor highlighted the detrimental effects of poor planning, coordination, and implementation, which can lead to malnutrition and hinder economic progress.

To achieve the proposed target by 2027, Governor Otu announced a matching fund of N100 million for food and nutrition interventions within Cross River State. He also unveiled the State Planning Commission, chaired by himself alongside Dr. Bong Duke as Vice Chairman and CEO, tasked with driving coordination efforts outlined in the newly launched state policies to improve nutritional indices across the board.

The state government expressed gratitude to development partners, particularly UNICEF, for their support in improving nutritional indices. Dr. Olusoji Akinleye, Officer-in-Charge at UNICEF Nigeria Enugu Field Office, underscored the urgency of addressing malnutrition, citing alarming statistics of acute malnutrition among children below the age of five. However, he expressed confidence that the new policies would provide a comprehensive framework to improve nutritional status across all vulnerable groups by 2025.

Dr. Bong Duke, Vice Chairman/CEO of the State Planning Commission, outlined the multi-sector approach aimed at addressing malnutrition, involving line ministries and agencies implementing nutrition-sensitive or specific programs. He emphasized the focus on vulnerable groups, including children under five years old, adolescents, women of reproductive age, and the elderly.

By Negroid Haven