By Ifeyinwa Ike
The United Nations Children’s Fund UNICE has said that Acute food security and poverty are worsening the burden of Malnutrition in Nigeria thereby hindering the country from achieving the sustainable development goals 2 by 2030.
UNICEF also disclosed that about 14.5 million Nigerians are suffering from Acute food security due to the challenges of insecurity in the country and the impact of covid-19 pandemic that devasted the world.
Recalled that Sustainable Development Goals are set of seventeen goals adopted by World Leaders at New York in 2015 and introduced in 2016 to replace the Millennium Development Goals
The agenda is to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by the year 2030.
These goals include addressing Poverty, zero hunger, quality education, good health and wellbeing, water and sanitation, gender equality amongst others.
But the question we need to ask is: Can Nigeria reach the target with just eight years to 2030?
UNICEF Nutrition Officer, Nkiruka Enwelum who spoke at a two day media dialogue on SDGs as Child rights with a focus on Malnutrition organized by Child Rights Information Bureau (CRIB) of the Federal ministry of Information and Culture in collaboration with UNICEF in Enugu lamented that SDGs may not be realised by 2030.
She said, Nigeria did not make any progress on SDGs nutrition target since 2015 as the country has remained a nation with the highest numbered of malnourished children in Africa and second highest in the world.
According to her, 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey shows that out of 35 million children under the age of five, 14 million are stunted, 3 million are wasted and million are anemia, due to poor nutrition.
A public Health Expert from Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Dr. Child Ezinwa expressed concern that Nigeria may continue to lag behind on nutrition target and the overall SDGs goals.
He said, “We are making back movement. In 2019, we ranked 159th, in 2020 we ranked 160th, but before that time, there was no crises in different part of the country. Now that we have this crises situation, it is reasonable to think that malnutrition will be on the increase because you can’t separate conflict from malnutrition and hunger, given the situation we are not likely to make any progress”
Ezinwa noted that more than 70 percent of Nigerian children live in poverty while 23.3 percent live in extreme poverty.
He further stressed that Nigeria cannot realise the SDGs 2 target by 2030 as the country is yet to recognize and fulfil many rights of children,
He stressed, “The SDGs index shows that many rights of children are yet to be fulfilled in Nigeria hence Nigeria is far from realizing the SDGs. Children are not objects rather they are human beings and individuals with their.own rights. A sustainable future depends on how we meet the needs of children and young people”