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CS-SUNN is in Cross River! Now Thriving in 26 States!! Advocacy and Budget Tracking Skills Soar!!!

In a remarkable stride toward nationwide impact, CS-SUNN has added a new feather to its cap by establishing a state chapter in Cross River, expanding its influence to 26 states across Nigeria. But that is not all – we are not just expanding; we are also empowering! This significant expansion follows a highly successful 2-day Capacity Building Workshop on Advocacy and Budget Tracking skills in Cross River, under the Increased Investment in Nutrition to Scale-Up Quality Nutrition Services project with support from UNICEF.

The establishment of the Cross River chapter is a testament to CS-SUNN’s strategic approach in positioning itself as a catalyst for positive nutrition outcomes in diverse regions. This move further underscores the alliance’s unwavering commitment to fostering collaboration, advocacy, and sustainable nutrition solutions at the state level.

Newly elected executives of CS-SUNN Cross-River State chapter

The capacity-building workshop, held in Calabar, brought together twenty-one participants from the newly established state chapter and government key stakeholders. It aimed at equipping participants with the necessary knowledge and skills in advocacy and budget tracking, laying the foundation for improved nutrition outcomes in Cross River.

Cross section of participants during the High level breakfast at Calabar

A strategic high-level breakfast meeting, gathering influential government officials such as the Secretary to the State Government, Chairman House Committee on Health, Head of Service, Permanent Secretaries of  State Planning Commission, Ministry of Water Resources, State Primary Healthcare Development Board, Ministry of Agriculture and other key Stakeholders representing  various state departments was also held, setting the stage for the remarkable achievements that followed.

The workshop yielded profound results, with notable commitments and achievements as follows:

-Commitments from the Secretary to the State Government and the Chairman of the House Committee on Health to collaborate with CS-SUNN in scaling up nutrition services. “Our government has the mantra of people first, and we are ready to align with your (CS-SUNN) vision to scale up nutrition services in the State,” said the Secretary to the State Government of Cross River. “The state Nutrition Indices are alarming, and to change the narrative, we would require taking a strong policy approach in the state,” emphasized the Chairman of the State House Committee on Health.

-A request, endorsed by the CS-SUNN Programme Manager for the State Secretary to the Government, State Nutrition Officer and Permanent Secretary, Planning Commission to set up or make possible arrangements for CS-SUNN to pay an advocacy visit to the state Governor.

-Establishment of a Food and Nutrition department in the State Ministry of Agriculture.

-Progress in developing the State policy on food and nutrition and the state multi-sectoral plan of Action for food and nutrition.

-Plans underway to open three Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) centers for enhanced utilization of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) in the state.