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10 Facts About Nutrition in Nigeria

Conflict is compromising the food security and nutrition of millions of Nigerians. Here are ten things to know.

1) Nigeria is a food deficit country and is Africa’s largest importer of rice.

2) One third of children under 5 are stunted. That’s twice the rate of Thailand and three times that of Tunisia.

3) A child in the remote northwestern region of Nigeria – where stunting rates are around 55 percent – is four times more likely to experience malnutrition than a child in the south.

4) At the same time, child obesity is increasing and 33 percent of adults are obese or overweight. That’s roughly on par with Singapore.

5) Nearly half of women of reproductive age (48.5 percent) are anaemic. This ranks Nigeria 172th best out of 185 countries.

6) Conflict with Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria has left a large part of the population without access to enough food, water and health services.

7) Displacement, lack of access to many locations, high inflation and reduced purchasing power of communities are worsening the food security situation in northeastern Nigeria.

8) Over 3 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance due to conflict.

9) In March 2016, WFP [World Food Programme] began providing cash transfers via mobile phones to displaced persons and host communities in critical areas. This gives them the opportunity to buy the food they need.

10) In partnership with the Government and other agencies such as UNICEF, WFP is scaling up its assistance in northeastern Nigeria to reach a total of 431,000 people in desperate need, including malnourished children and pregnant and nursing women.

This was first published by the United Nations World Food Programme. The WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency on the front lines against hunger.

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