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CS-SUNN Engages Nigeria’s 10th Senate to Enhance Nigeria’s Nutrition Landscape.

Click to watch video “CS-SUNN Breakfast Meeting with the 10th Senate to Enhance Nigeria’s Nutrition Landscape”

Through innovative collaboration and strategic advocacy, the Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) has taken significant strides in driving legislative action towards combating malnutrition in Nigeria. CS-SUNN, through its recent engagement with the Nigeria Senate sought to fortify Nigeria’s nutritional landscape.

In partnership with the Office of the Special Adviser to the President of the Senate on Diaspora and Non-Governmental Organizations, CS-SUNN convened a one-day legislative breakfast meeting in Abuja. This gathering, themed “The Legislator’s Role in Strengthening Nigeria’s Nutritional Landscape through Enhanced Advocacy and Constitutional Oversight,” brought together esteemed legislators from both the upper and lower chambers, alongside key stakeholders from nutrition-focused ministries, departments, agencies, and renowned partners such as Nutrition International, Alive and Thrive, Save the Children International, Hellen Keller International, UNICEF, USAID and GAIN.

The event aimed to increase legislators’ understanding of nutrition’s critical role in public health, education, and workforce productivity. It sought to secure active support and commitment from legislators to advocate for increased federal funding dedicated to comprehensive nutrition programs and interventions and advocate for the prevention of anaemia using Multiple Micronutrient Supplements, garnering support among legislators.

The event commenced with insightful remarks from Dr. Jibril Lawal Tafida, the Special Adviser to the President of the Senate on Diaspora and Non-Governmental Organizations. Dr. Tafida emphasized the urgent need for legislative frameworks to safeguard citizens from harmful foods and enact laws ensuring every child benefits from nutritious diets. He pledged the Senate President’s commitment to addressing malnutrition challenges and lauded CS-SUNN’s dedication to advancing nutrition advocacy.

The Special Adviser to Senate President on Non-Governmental Organizations Dr. Jibril Tafida

CS-SUNN Chairman, Sodangi Chindo, highlighted the critical role legislators play in prioritizing maternal health through constituency oversight of Primary Health Care centers. He underscored the meeting’s aim to leverage legislators’ influence for the betterment of women’s nutrition, particularly in the provision of Multiple Micronutrient Supplements.

CS-SUNN Chairman Sodangi Chindo presenting an opening remark

Mrs. Ladidi Bako-Aiyegbusi, Director and Head of Nutrition Department at the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, outlined priority actions for legislators, including the adoption, implementation, and monitoring of maternity protection legislation and pro-nutrition budgetary allocations.

Mrs. Chito Nelson, Head of Nutrition at the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, emphasized Nigeria’s alarming rates of stunted and wasted children, stressing the economic and health costs of malnutrition and the substantial returns on investment in nutrition.

Mrs. Chito Nelson Head of Nutrition at the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning

CS-SUNN Executive Secretary, represented by Dr. Goodness Anyanwu, Programme Manager, noted that legislators should be aware of their valued roles through constituency responsibilities and possible influence on the State governors in accessing the Child Nutrition funds and supporting budgetary allocation for nutrition at the Federal Level in Government Ministries and agencies. She presented the Call-to-Action tasking legislators to ensure more allocation by funding the National Multisectoral Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition, support and fund the 6 months paid maternity leave, avail on the Executives to release allocated funds timely and to contribute significantly to improving nutrition outcomes by shaping policies and ensuring effective implementation of nutrition activities in their constituency and across Nigeria.

Dr. Goodness Anyanwu CS-SUNN Programme Manager presenting the Call-to- Action

Furthermore, UNICEF’s Chief of Nutrition, Nemat Hajeebhoy, elucidated on the Child Nutrition Fund, urging state governments to seize the opportunity to double their investment in essential nutrition commodities for the prevention and treatment of childhood wasting, notably, four states have released a total of NGN 600 million as part of the 1:1 match Child Nutrition Fund.

This legislative breakfast meeting underscores the potency of collaboration and collective action in confronting the challenges posed by malnutrition. Over the coming months, CS-SUNN will forge stronger partnerships with nutrition advocates across Nigeria to elevate our advocacies to President of the Senate. Our collective aim is to drive meaningful improvements in nutrition outcomes for Nigeria.

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