Nigeria has been shockingly ranked as the world’s second most severely affected country by malnutrition, according to a recent report by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This distressing revelation was disclosed by Anne Patterson, the Director of USAID Mission, during the Trade Fair for Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods and Life-saving Nutrition Commodities held in Abuja. The latest Food Consumption and Micronutrients Survey of 2021 showcased an alarming increase in severe malnutrition among Nigerian children, soaring from 7% to a staggering 12% over the last five years.

Highlighting the gravity of the situation, Patterson emphasized that only 2.8% of afflicted children received treatment with ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTF) in the past year. Astonishingly, Nigeria now claims the unenviable position of being the second most malnutrition-affected country worldwide. However, a glimmer of hope arises as local suppliers like Ariel Foods, Emzor-Foods, DABS, and Nutri-K offer ready-to-use therapeutic foods to combat this crisis.

Patterson underscored the United States government’s commitment to partnering with private sector entities combating malnutrition. She cited the recent collaboration between USAID and Emzor Food and Beverages, which aims to establish a state-of-the-art groundnut paste processing facility. Nebeolisa Anako, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Budget, and Planning, echoed the urgent need for collective action to confront this substantial burden of malnutrition.

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