Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Malnourished Nigerian children suffering from multidimensional poverty: UNICEF

A new UNICEF report says a large number of malnourished Nigerian children are suffering from multidimensional poverty.

• June 18, 2021
Malnourished children. [CREDIT: The Cable]
Malnourished children. [CREDIT: The Cable]

Barely one week after President Muhammadu Buhari claimed that his regime lifted over 10 million Nigerians out of poverty, a new UNICEF report says a large number of malnourished Nigerian children are suffering from multidimensional poverty.

Mr Buhari, while delivering his Democracy Day speech, claimed his regime had lifted 10.5 million Nigerians out of poverty in the past two years, a claim countered by a World Bank’s report.

The global financial institution disclosed that about seven million Nigerians dropped below the poverty line due to an increase in inflation in the country in 2020. 

Corroborating the bank’s claim in the report, UNICEF detailed that about 28 per cent of children living in urban areas were multidimensionally poor. In comparison, 66 per cent of rural children experienced multidimensional poverty.

 “A recent child poverty analysis, carried out by the government of Nigeria and supported by UNICEF, indicates high-level child poverty and child deprivation. Multidimensional poverty is manifested in varying degrees with 28 per cent of urban children being multidimensionally poor against 66 per cent of rural children experiencing multidimensional poverty,” said UNICEF.

The UN agency advised Mr Buhari’s regime to harness its huge demographic dividends “through judicious investments in health, nutrition, social protection, education, and livelihoods – especially for young people.”

On education, UNICEF identified a progressive decline in completion rates from primary to secondary schools, with about 10.2 million children reportedly out of school in Nigeria.

To address this, UNICEF charged the regime to provide inclusive and quality education to all Nigerian students through investments in education infrastructure and amenities and the provision of disability-friendly amenities.

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