Gombe secures N3.4 bn World Bank loan to fight malnutrition

The Gombe State Government, in collaboration with the Federal Government, has secured N3.4 billion loan from the World Bank for use in checking malnutrition in the state.

Dr Kamil Shoretire,  National Project Manager, Accelerating Nutrition Result in Nigeria (ANRiN), stated this while fielding questions from newsmen on the sidelines of orientation workshop organized for stakeholders on the project  in Gombe on Tuesday.

According to him, 12 states of the federation will benefit from  232 million dollars and Gombe state has secured 9.5 million dollars, which is equivalent to N3.4 billion.

He said the duration of the project is  five years and it is expected that within that period, the burden of malnutrition among the Nigerian children will drastically reduce.

According to him, about 15 million Nigerian children are malnourished and stunted and the National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) shows that  Nigeria has not made any remarkable improvement in terms of child nutrition.

“NDHS survey indicates that we have not made any remarkable improvement in terms of nutrition and this gives us the impression that we may have humanitarian crisis while we are not at war.

“With this project, we will increase the quality and utilisation of the package of nutrition services in Nigeria among under- five children,” he explained.

He said the project would also focus attention on mothers of adolescent children, lactating women, as well as create awareness on exclusive breast-feeding.

Shoretire also said ‘Infant and Young Child Feeding’ programme would be introduced and children under- five would be de-wormed.

According to him,  pregnant women will also receive folic acid, iron and other important components of micro nutrients.

Malam Suleiman Mamman, Project Manager, Gombe state, said the loan would attract 0.6 per cent interest and government would be repaying gradually.

He said the percentage of malnourished children in the state had been rising daily, from 46.6 per cent in 2018, to its current 50 per cent.(NAN)