Nigeria is facing serious poverty and hunger despite having Africa’s second largest economy and vast natural resources. Nigeria is still heavily dependent on food imports and its agricultural sector is heavily dependent on the rains. The country has the third highest number of severely malnourished children in the world. One in four children under the age of five suffers from life-threatening hunger in the country - an estimated one million children in total.
What we’re doing
Our focus in Nigeria is on helping national agencies and local communities to build their capacity to treat deadly malnutrition. We help governments integrate the Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition approach, which can help correct and prevent the long-term impact of acute malnutrition on a community by promoting the treatment of the condition within communities and at home.
In addition to treating malnutrition, we are also addressing its root causes. More than half of Nigerians do not have access to safe water and proper sanitation. Since waterborne diseases are linked to malnutrition, we support community-based sanitation projects. We have also partnered with Nigeria’s Rural Water and Sanitation Agency to repair broken water points.
Another cause of malnutrition is food insecurity. In northern Nigeria, widespread poverty, volatile food prices, and recurring food shortages have left hundreds of thousands of children at risk of severe malnutrition. In March 2013, we began an initiative called the Child Development Grant Program, which aims to provide 60,000 vulnerable households with monthly cash grants during the next five years. This programme is part of our integrated approach to malnutrition treatment, which aims to create sustainable hunger solutions in Nigeria.