The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), a nutrition-focused organisation, has urged major priority actions for Nigeria from the just-concluded UN Food Systems Summit to assist the country to improve “our food systems as a country.”
This was contained in a press statement issued Friday in Abuja by the organisation’s Country Director, Dr. Michael Ojo
The statement read in part, “As we celebrate the World Food Day today, it is pertinent for us as a country to kick-start the implementation of priority actions collectively agreed upon at the recently concluded UN Food Systems Summit. Like over 130 other countries, the Nigerian government brought multiple food system stakeholders together over a period of eight months to deliberate and reflect on the state of our food systems, and what are the game changing ideas….of national and sub-national (not global) to reduce hunger, increase access to nutritious and safe foods, and help us to attain the sustainable development goals especially those relating to hunger, health and well-being of Nigerians.
“GAIN took a strategic decision about five years ago to focus its energies on transforming food systems, so they deliver nutritious and safe foods in the required quantities and at affordable prices to ensure that Nigerians, especially those most vulnerable to malnutrition, have access to healthy diets. From the independent dialogues hosted in Nigeria, there were clear indications that from national to sub-national and even to community levels, the way our food systems work is still unknown to many, and that hunger has continued to rise in Nigeria with the most recent data classifying 44% of Nigerians as moderately to severely food insecure.
“The dialogues were also a reminder that over a third of our children are stunted and less than 10% of Nigerians can afford a healthy diet that provides all the recommended food groups including fresh fruits and vegetables, hence the need to start looking for more ways of championing collective efforts towards strengthening our food systems, to significantly reduce levels of malnutrition in the country.”
“This year’s World Food Day’s theme: ‘Our actions are our future – better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life’ is apt as it brings home the message that more collective actions are necessary to improve our food systems.
According to Olarewaju, GAIN, the Switzerland-based organisation, is committed to disseminating information and creating awareness on various nutrition interventions that can help improve Nigeria’s food systems as a nation.