CS-SUNN recently led a delegation comprising members from the Kaduna State Chapter of the Alliance, the Kaduna State Planning and Budget Commission, members of the State Committee on Food and Nutrition (SCFN), Save the Children International and the Media among others on an advocacy visit to the Executive Secretary (ES) of the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Abubakar Hassan.
The visit was necessitated by some missing nutrition component during assessment of emergencies identified by CS-SUNN and a lack of budget line for nutrition in the agency. One of such gaps is that, there is no nutritionist as part of the State’s Emergency Response Team. CS-SUNN believes the absence of a Nutritionist would hamper the provision of basic and appropriate nutritional care to the vulnerable groups (pregnant women, lactating women, children under five, adolescent groups, the elderly among others) during emergencies in Kaduna, thus contributing to worsening of malnutrition indices in the state.
At the SEMA ES office, the CS-SUNN Kaduna State Coordinator, Jessica Bartholomew commended SEMA for their active participation in nutrition activities in the state. She, however, urged the agency to create budgetary provision for nutrition activities in the state and to include the State Nutrition Officer in the State’s Emergency Response Team. Also speaking, the Director, Development Admin and Finance of the Kaduna State Planning and Budget Commission, Salisu Lawal described SEMA as one of the strongest pillars of the SCFN and noted that there is need for actions that will translate to a reduction in the cases of malnutrition in the state. He reiterated the need for SEMA to have a budget line for nutrition.
Receiving the CS-SUNN Delegation, SEMA ES commended the move by advocacy team noting it was a step in the right direction to advance the agency’s contribution towards addressing malnutrition in the state.
On CS-SUNN’s request for a nutrition budget line, Abubakar said “that is already a major step in 2021. We have factored more aspects of nutrition which will be covered in this year’s budget. We will have a budget line specifically for nutrition”.
He promised that the State Nutrition Officer, will be involved henceforth in the agency’s activities adding that any specific Terms of Reference needed in that regard will be made available.
CS-SUNN Chairman, Ekene Ifedilichukwu Innocent, while thanking the SEMA boss for his warm reception, expressed optimism that all commitments made will be translated to action to better the nutrition status of Kaduna residents.