Following a request by USAID/Nigeria to conduct a scoping study in order to better understand the main drivers of chronic malnutrition in northern Nigeria, a Policy Event was organized on “The Determinants of Chronic Malnutrition in Northern Nigeria with a Focus on Bauchi and Kebbi States” at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja on 23 May, 2017.
The main presentation of the preliminary findings emanating from the ongoing study on the drivers of chronic malnutrition in northern Nigeria with a focus on Bauchi and Kebbi states was delivered by Dr. Todd Benson (Senior Research Fellow, Development Strategy and Governance Division, IFPRI, Washington DC) followed by a panel discussion with panelists from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Health, Save the Children, UNICEF, and the International Food Policy Research Institute.
Welcoming remarks were delivered by Dr. Paul Dorosh (Director, Development Strategy and Governance Division, IFPRI) followed by opening remarks by Ms. Roseann Casey (Director, Office of Economic Growth and Environment, USAID/Nigeria).
Short remarks were also given by Dr. Adeyinka Onabolu (Senior Advisor on Food Security and Nutrition to the Honorable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development) and Dr. Chris Osa Isokpunwu (Head of Nutrition, Department of Family Health, Federal Ministry of Health) who both also served as panelists following Dr. Benson’s presentation. The other panelists included Dr. Todd Benson, Ms. Karina Lopez Enye (Head of Nutrition, Save the Children, Abuja Office), and Dr. Bamidele Davis Omotola (Nutrition Specialist, UNICEF, Abuja Office). The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. George Mavrotas (Head of IFPRI Abuja Office and Senior Research Fellow, Development Strategy and Governance Division, IFPRI).
Prior to the Policy Event, a team of four IFPRI researchers led by Dr. Todd Benson (IFPRI Senior Research Fellow) with support from Dr. Mulubrhan Amare (IFPRI Associate Research Fellow), Ms. Motunrayo Oyeyemi (IFPRI Senior Research Assistant) and Mr. Olusegun Fadare (IFPRI Senior Research Assistant) undertook fieldwork to conduct a series of interviews in Bauchi and Kebbi States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, as part of a study focusing on the key determinants of chronic malnutrition in northern Nigeria. The researchers interviewed key informants at federal, state and local government levels, as well as development partners working on issues related to malnutrition during 4-26 April 2017.
The Policy Event was well received and attended by about 100 participants including representatives from USAID, FMARD, FMOH, NGO’s, UN agencies, private sector, development partners, research, and academia. Participants got a better understanding of the drivers of chronic malnutrition that individually or collectively, significantly impact the populations in Kebbi and Bauchi states and the feasible agricultural and non-agricultural strategies that can be adopted to improve the nutritional status of children under five years of age with a focus on reducing the level of child stunting. While the study focused on Bauchi and Kebbi States, the results from the two states could also contribute greatly in enabling policymakers and other relevant stakeholders in addressing child malnutrition in northern Nigeria more broadly. Once finalized, the findings of the study will be made available in a report that will focus on generating insights to guide the design of feasible strategies for improving the nutritional status of young children in northern Nigeria.
The event was organized as part of the activities under the Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project, a joint effort between the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)’s Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) and Michigan State University funded by USAID.