Social Protection and Child Malnutrition in Nigeria: A need for political will and resources

Nigeria has the highest level of stunting in sub-Saharan Africa, and the third highest in the world, with 41% of all children aged under five classified as stunted and 23% as severely stunted. Despite being a middle-income country, more than half the population lives below the poverty line. Many lack access to healthcare, water and sanitation. 

Social protection coverage is negligible. Nigeria currently spends less on social protection than other sub-Saharan African countries, and two-thirds of its overall social protection expenditure goes to the civil service. Where programmes do exist the payments are of marginal value, health services are often inadequate, and there is a lack of well-trained officials and institutional capacity to implement policies.

This catastrophic situation requires an overarching policy framework and resources that address the different stages needed to develop a social protection programme that addresses malnutrition

Published 2018-09-03

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