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Enugu State govt declared Nutrition Friendly, as UNICEF holds 5-Day ‘Community of Practice’ Workshop
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi

Enugu State govt declared Nutrition Friendly, as UNICEF holds 5-Day ‘Community of Practice’ Workshop


By Chukwuka, Ifunanya Judith (Information Officer/PRO), Min. of Budget and Planning, Enugu State

The Enugu State Government through the Ministry of Budget and Planning in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) had on Sunday, 2nd of October commenced a 5 day Community of Practice Workshop on Building Capacity to Mainstream Nutrition into the Investment Agenda at Nike Lake Resort Hotel, Enugu.


Enugu State Government declared Nutrition Friendly
Dr. David Ugwunta

In his welcome address during the opening ceremony, the Enugu State Honourable Commissioner for Budget and Planning whose Ministry coordinates Nutrition activities in the State, David Okelue Ugwunta Ph.D., stated that nutrition is the right of every child and so has become a priority in the development process. He noted that His Excellency Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is a nutrition friendly governor hence has assiduously engaged in many interventions (APPEALS, ENUGU-VCDP, ATASP-1, Youth Agricultural Training Programmes amongst others) to boost food systems and Nutrition in the State as well as the acceptance to the approval of the State Multi-Sectoral Plan of Action on Nutrition by the State Executive Council, and the inclusion of nutrition and its related activities as line items in the budget.

Dr. Ugwunta remarked that the programme is expected to broaden the horizon of the participants on the area of planning, coordination, implementation and budgeting processes by virtue of the ideas/ knowledge shared by the seasoned partners that have the technical know-how. He also added that the programme will enhance capacity building on the implementation of nutrition activities through a multi-sectoral approach to tackle malnutrition in our society.

The UNICEF Coordinator, Mrs. Ngozi Onuora in her welcome address noted that nutrition is the pivot for health thus the essence of the Community of Practice Workshop is to create a platform where States in Enugu and Rivers Field Offices in identified nutrition flagship States in Nigeria will deepen their understanding in effective advocacy and partnership processes.


Mrs. Onuora in her presentation noted that Nigeria as a nation is currently off track towards the actualization of Sustainable Development Goal 2 (End hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture) as she ranks number 1 in Africa and number 2 in the world in the level of malnourished children.

She further stressed that the right to nutrition can be achieved when everyone in a society has physical and economic access at all times to adequate food. She however added that the first 1000 days of a child and adolescent is a critical window essential for promotion of optimal growth, health and development.

Strikingly, the National Coordinator, Academic and Research Network, Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria, Prof. Kola Matthew Anigo in a presentation tagged, “The Conceptual Framework on Maternal and Child Nutrition” noted that the issue of malnutrition continues to be one of the world’s most critical health and human development challenges. He further revealed that the cause of malnutrition is multi-layered and that most prevalent health cases like stunting, risks of stroke, low birth weight, to mention but a few, often wrongly attributed to intergenerational traits, are undoubtedly proven to be the effects of malnutrition. Prof. Anigo reiterated that when early nutrition is given priority in the society that human capital development is built, school completion is increased, poverty is reduced and the economy is boosted.

In line with the other facilitators, the Steering Committee Chairman CS-SUNN and Chairperson Advocacy Save The Children International, Mr. Ifedilichukwu Ekene Innocent added that human capital development remains the fulcrum for greater economic development especially for middle and low-income nations like Nigeria.


He however noted that for Nigeria as a country with high burden of malnutrition to achieve the SDG 2 zero hunger goal; among others a multisectoral approach to nutrition programme, budget advocacy/budget process and funding of nutrition interventions/investments in social sectors like nutrition should be adopted.

Capping it up, the Executive Secretary, Enugu State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. George Ugwu, recalled that the Multi-sectoral approach is already working in Enugu state. He however added that there is need to integrate some of our very own healthy traditional practices like Omugwo in order to improve nutrition.

The workshop had in attendance the Ag. Chairman of the State Committee on Nutrition, Mr. Edwin Anukwe, Mrs. Chinwe Onumonu, the Academia led by Prof. Lizzy Ngwu, State Nutrition Officers and Permanent Secretaries from 12 States of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Bayelsa, Delta, Kogi, Rivers, Enugu, Imo and Benue States, Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) and Members of the Press.



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