Nigeria: Supporting nutritional services
In the state of Katsina in northwest Nigeria, already grappling with insecurity and population displacement, Première Urgence Internationale is addressing malnutrition. The initiative reflects our teams’ commitment to providing support to vulnerable populations in remote regions facing significant challenges
A PARTICULARLY UNSTABLE REGION
Katsina State, in northwest Nigeria, has become an unstable area due to multiple challenges. Clashes between herders and farmers, as well as organized bandit groups, have destabilized the daily lives of residents. The detrimental activities of these groups, including kidnappings and violence, have forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes in search of safety. Many of them have found refuge in Katsina. The northwest of Nigeria hosts over 450,000 displaced individuals, with half of them located in Katsina (IOM Atlas North-Central and North-West Nigeria, October 2022). The increasing insecurity in the region, coupled with extreme climatic events, outbreaks, rising inflation, and inadequate social services, is impacting the nutritional status of the populations.
Première Urgence Internationale‘s objective is nothing short of transformative – to improve the nutritional status of the local population and displaced persons in Katsina State.
Recent UNICEF data paint a bleak picture, revealing that Katsina has one of the highest malnutrition prevalence rates among children under five (SMART survey August 2022). The global acute malnutrition rate in Katsina is 13.5%, and 59.1% of children are stunted. Médecins Sans Frontières has reported that it is facing an unprecedented number of admissions of malnourished children, 80% of which are cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition. These statistics underline the urgent need for action to improve access to nutritional services for the most vulnerable populations, especially children.
AN INTEGRATED APPROACH FOCUSED ON HEALTH AND NUTRITION
The initiatives of Première Urgence Internationale stem from a collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to bolster their efforts in this area, where few humanitarian actors are present. The involvement of Première Urgence Internationale underscores the significance of partnerships in addressing complex challenges.
Première Urgence Internationale‘s intervention strategy will be rooted in a comprehensive assessment of health and nutrition in the area. Teams will then provide essential treatment services for children under five suffering from severe acute malnutrition, encompassing both medical and non-medical cases. This includes support for a stabilization center and two outpatient treatment programs in the Mashi area. In addition, Première Urgence Internationale is focusing on prevention, adopting a community- and peer-based methodology. This strategy aims to disseminate knowledge, encourage best practice and raise awareness through group sessions. By interacting with the community at several levels, the project aims to achieve a sustainable long-term impact.
This intervention by Première Urgence Internationale, which is expected to reach around 50,000 people, is supported by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Centre de crise et de soutien (CDCS).