From Okwe Obi, Abuja

The Africa Youth Growth Foundation (AYGF) and Plan International Nigeria (PI), with support from Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria (ANRiN), the Niger State government, and the World Bank, have distributed supplements to over 1 million residents of Niger State to address malnutrition.

The initiative aims to curb the prevalence of hidden hunger in the state. However, banditry poses a significant challenge to the project’s sustainability.

AYGF Executive Director Arome Salifu highlighted the project’s focus on building a sustainable system for community-level service delivery. He emphasized the importance of empowering women to produce nutritional commodities locally using readily available resources.

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Salifu acknowledged the security challenges posed by banditry in parts of Niger State, which hinder access to services in affected areas.

Dr Bello Tukur, Niger State Commissioner for Secondary and Tertiary Health, commended the project’s success in reducing micronutrient deficiency among children and pregnant women. He attributed this success to the involvement of non-state actors and the engagement of local community members in the workforce.

Tukur expressed the state’s desire to extend the project to further improve nutritional outcomes and combat malnutrition.

Project Manager Dr Uchenna Obiodu reported exceeding project targets by 90% overall, with Plan International reaching over 623,000 individuals, including pregnant women, adolescent girls, and children under five.