CS-SUNN celebrates a significant milestone in its collaboration with the Benue State Committee on Food and Nutrition (SCFN), achieving the formulation of the state’s nutrition Annual Operation Plan (AOP) for fiscal year 2024. This was accomplished during a rigorous two-day meeting, gathering 30 stakeholders from key nutrition Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs). Through collaborative efforts, the AOP for 2024 was streamlined, with participants engaging in critical analysis of budgetary allocations and activity reviews, leading to enhanced clarity, thus positioning these nutrition line items for securing vital approvals.
In parallel with the AOP development, CS-SUNN facilitated a comprehensive capacity-building session on the Performance Management System (PMS), empowering stakeholders with advanced knowledge to utilize this tool for real-time monitoring and reporting of interventions, initiatives and activities, while enhancing the effectiveness of the various nutrition line MDAs. The commendation from Mr. Terfa Danjuma Makir, the Representative of the Permanent Secretary, Benue State Budget and Economic Planning Commission, underscores the significance of CS-SUNN’s initiatives in combatting malnutrition in the state. “I would like to use this opportunity to appreciate CS-SUNN and UNICEF for this commendable project. Nutrition is vital for all planning efforts – even economic. I want to highlight the significance of this meeting and underscore my Commission’s crucial role in the achievement of the objectives. Rest assured, we will provide the necessary support, create an enabling environment. I also want to express gratitude to the team and assure them of my steadfast support for the project’s success.”
Additionally, CS-SUNN, earlier accomplished advocacy visits, to the Office of the State Head of Service for increased funding for nutrition in the state and the extension of paid maternity leave to six months. Furthermore, a strategic media roundtable emphasized the importance of heightened reporting on nutrition issues, eliciting commitments from media partners to amplify visibility and drive policy action for nutrition.
These achievements come on the heels of the “Increased Investment in Nutrition to Scale-Up Quality Nutrition Services,” project implemented by CS-SUNN with support from UNICEF across 19 states, including Benue. The core objectives of the project are budget releases and utilization for nutrition programming at Federal and selected states increased from 2 million to 3 million USD, and the number of states with approved policies for civil servants on extended paid maternity leave for six months increased by 3.