According to the United States Agency for International Development, Nigeria is the world’s second most malnourished country.
Anne Patterson, Director of the USAID Mission said this, on Wednesday at the Trade Fair for Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods and Other Life-saving Nutrition Commodities in Abuja.
Patterson explained that the frequency of severe malnutrition among Nigerian children grew from 7% to 12% over the last five years, using the most recent Food Consumption and Micronutrients Survey in 2021.
“This means Nigeria is the second country with the most prevalent malnutrition. Only 2.8 percent of those children were treated with ready-to-use therapeutic foods, also known as RUTF, in the past 12 months.
“These are alarming figures. Fortunately, local procurement of RUTF is available to producers like Ariel Foods, Emzor-Foods, DABS, and Nutri-K.”
Patterson said the United States government was eager to strengthen ties with private sector firms that were addressing malnutrition.
“For example, just last week, USAID entered a partnership with Emzor Food and Beverages to build a medical-grade groundnut paste processing facility,” she said.
Malnutrition, according to Nebeolisa Anako, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Budget, and Planning, is a tremendous burden that requires coordinated efforts to overcome.