The Kaduna state Government on Monday entered into partnership with Civil Society Organisations, to ensure increased budgetary allocation for nutrition interventions, and reduce the prevalence of malnutrition in the state.
The stakeholders made this known in Zaria, at a two-day review meeting on allocation, releases and utilisation of nutrition budget, with key stakeholders from the legislature and nutrition line ministry in Kaduna State.
The meeting was organised by the Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), in partnership with Kaduna State Planning and Budget Commission (PBC), and Save the Children International (SCI).
The stakeholders said the current malnutrition indices that placed the state as the 9th with high prevalence of malnutrition in the country, was unacceptable.
They noted however, that the situation could be addressed “with increased funding and cash backing of allocated funds for implementation of nutrition programmes”.
The Permanent Secretary, PBC, Mr Mahmoud Yamusa, said that nutrition specific, which involves treatment of malnutrition, and nutrition sensitive, designed to prevent malnutrition, were handled by different Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Yamusa, who was represented by the Director, Development Aid Coordination, PBC, Malam Salisu Lawal, said that while the Ministry of Health was focusing on nutrition specific, other line MDAs often focused on nutrition sensitive.
He said that the current budgetary provision for nutrition interventions were captured in one line item under the Kaduna Emergency Nutrition Action Plan (KADENAP), under the Ministry of Health.
“What this means is that the MDAs must route their request of funds through KADENAP, Ministry of Health and Planning and Budget, before funds are released.
“However, standard practices require that budgetary provisions be made under every line MDAs implementing nutrition programmes in the state for maximum result.
“This is why the State Committee on Food and Nutrition is working to ensure that budget lines for different activities are created for all nutrition related MDAs and local government areas.
“Therefore, allocation for Infant and Young Child Feeding programmes, Community Management of Acute Malnutrition, should be sufficient with effect from the 2021 budget,” he said.
Also speaking, CS-SUNN Coordinator in the state, Mr Silas Ideva, noted that although some progress had been recorded, the state could do better with adequate allocation and cash backing of allocated funds.
“Nutrition is the responsibility of everybody, I urge relevant MDAs to ensure that allocated funds are released for implementation of nutrition specific and sensitive interventions.
“Children are the future, we need to invest in them, because if we do not, they may not grow and develop to exploit their full potential.”
On his part, Mr Isah Ibrahim, Nutrition Advocacy Advisor, SCI, pointed out that cash backing of allocated funds had remained a serious problem for nutrition programmes implementation in the state.
Ibrahim stressed that malnutrition was a multi-sectoral problem that required a multi-sectoral approach to tackle, adding that this could only be achieved through the creation of budget lines for relevant MDAs.
He said that the meeting was timely considering the ongoing budget preparation for 2021 fiscal year.
“We will continue to partner with the government and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that the scourge of malnutrition was reduced to the barest minimum in the state.
Mr Kunle Ishola, Project Assistant, CS-SUNN, Abuja, said that the objective of the meeting was for stakeholders to ascertain the level of nutrition investment and performance in the state.
“We want to understand the current malnutrition situation in the state and the need for prompt action.
“The meeting will also help stakeholders to secure state commitments towards improving domestic investment in high-impact, low-cost interventions, as captured in the state specific plans of actions in the 2021 annual budget,” Ishola said.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)https://nnn.ng/kaduna-govt-partners-csos-to-increase-funding-for-nutrition/