CS-SUNN advocates implementation, funding of nutrition activities in Enugu

A Non- Governmental Organization,  Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria, CS-SUNN, has organised a media roundtable on increasing  investment in Nutrition to scale up quality nutrition service in Enugu state, with a call on the stakeholders to initiate programs to avoid malnutrition in children.


The group also urged Media practitioners to increase coverage for nutrition related issues in Nigeria.

This was contained in a press statement  signed and  made available to newsmen by the Enugu state Cordinator of  CS-SUNN, Finian Ali , at the end of a One-Day Roundtable for media and Civil Society Organizations, held Thursday, in Enugu.

The group, which is a none profit making coalition, with a shared vision to transform Nigeria into a country where every citizen has food and nutrition secured, noted that malnutrition and nutrition related diseases have remained a public health concern in Nigeria due to complex factors. 

 Ali, CS-SUNN ,Enugu Cordinator

The statement said, “malnutrition is a formidable cause of death, with stunting in particular, linked to adverse outcomes such as poor brain and cognitive development, a loss of 2-3 years of schooling, poor school performance and diminished productivity in adulthood. 

According to the statement, 

“In Enugu state, there has been recurrent low funding of nutrition activities, and this has negatively impacted the efforts for implementing food and nutrition interventions in the state. 

“According to the National Food Consumption and Micronutrient Survey (NFCMS) conducted in 2021, approximately eleven million (33%) of children aged under 5 years in Nigeria are stunted, while four million children (12%) are wasted with an astonishing 21 million (62%) children suffering from anemia.

. Cross section of Participants

 “In Enugu state, NDHS 2018 reveals that 14.8% of children under-five are stunted, 6.1% are underweight, and 2.5% are wasted. This statistics translates to over 159,000 stunted children and over 24,000 wasted children in Enugu state”, the group said . 

Ozo Azuka, Budget

The group noted that, ” at the National level, Nigeria possesses robust policies in the food and nutrition sector(s). However, these policy documents have struggled to fully materialize, primarily due to a lack of adequate funding. 

“In response to these pressing challenges, CS-SUNN is implementing the ‘Increased Investment in Nutrition to Scale-Up Quality Nutrition Services’ in Enugu state, a fruitful collaboration between UNICEF and CS-SUNN, aimed at realizing a vision of a Nigeria where every citizen has access to food and nutrition security.


The  statement said, Enugu State Chapter of the Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria, hosted the  inaugural media roundtable and shining the spotlight as a result of the need for increased investment in Nutrition to scale up quality nutrition services.

It added that  the primary objective of the project is to advocate for the extension of paid maternity leave from the current four months to six months, recognizing the pivotal role of the first 1000 days of a child’s life.

“This initiative aims to promote six months of exclusive breastfeeding. The extended maternity leave will empower mothers, positively impact infant health, and foster healthier family dynamics.

“The second crucial objective is to ensure the timely release and effective utilization of allocated funds for nutrition programming in Enugu. This initiative is vital to support development partners’ efforts, enhancing overall nutrition outcomes and contributing to the state’s economic growth, the statement said.

According to the group, the Nigerian Government, in collaboration with key stakeholders developed the National Strategic Plan of Action on Nutrition (NSPAN) which sets out costed, nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions with measurable targets to be achieved. 

“The Enugu State Multisectoral Plan of Action on Food and Nutrition was developed in 2020 to guide as well as inform strategic implementation of Nutrition Interventions in the state, providing a comprehensive and multi-sectoral approach to tackling the problem of malnutrition among women and children. 

“The ENSMPFAN is a key document to the scale up of Nutrition in Enugu, if implemented. CS-SUNN working in collaboration with other local and international NGOs therefore calls on every stakeholder to contribute to this fight against malnutrition

The CS-SUNN’s Key Advocacy “ASKs” for the Government, Media, private sectors, CSOs / NGOs are: 

Government : Budget releases and utilization for nutrition programming at Federal level, and in Enugu State increased from 2 million to 3 million USD by Oct 2024.


“Maternity and Exclusive Breast Feeding (EBF) protection through the Extension of Maternity Leave to six months from the current four months in Enugu State 

Media :Provide increased coverage and visibility for nutrition related issues in Nigeria.

Private Sector :Support policy implementation through the development of low cost, nutritious complementary foods and home fortification of staple foods and creation of office creches. 

CSOs/NGOs: Advocate for the implementation of maternal and child nutrition interventions.Promote sustained community health education on nutrition and advocate for the implementation of six months maternity protection with pay.

Advocate for Nutrition budget releases.

CS-SUNN expressed gratitude to everyone who attended the roundtable especially members of the media, noting that  together, they were  poised to enhance nutrition outcomes in Enugu State, contributing to the overall well-being and prosperity of the people.

CS-SUNN  engages and mobilizes Government, and Non-State Actors to advocate for relevant Policy implementation, raise awareness, generate evidence, build capacity and stimulate communities to scale-up nutrition in Nigeria, with especial focus on maternal and child nutrition.

Author: Maureen Ikpeama

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