The managing Director and CEO of the Aliko Dangote Foundation, Zouera Youssoufou has disclosed that the foundation will spend $100million on tackling malnutrition in the worst affected parts of Nigeria over the next five years. She made the disclosure at the just concluded Global Nutrition Summit 2017, held in Milan, Italy which was attended by government officials, international agencies, foundations, civil society organisations and businesses.
According to Youssoufou, the Dangote Foundation has made significant social investments in health, education, economic empowerment and disaster relief since 1993. She said: “He is now becoming the strongest voice for nutritional leadership nationally and on the Continent of Africa.
By making this unprecedented $100 million commitment, the Aliko Dangote Foundation is on a mission to reduce the prevalence of under nutrition by 60 percent in the most needy areas of Nigeria, specifically the North East and North West.” She noted that Africa is the hardest hit continent in terms of malnutrition and Nigeria has the highest numbers of malnourished children. She said: “Almost half of the one million children, who die before the age of five every year in Nigeria, die of malnutrition as the underlying cause.
Without the proper nutrients during the first 1,000 days of life starting from conception up to their second birthday, children are less likely to survive childhood diseases such as malaria and pneumonia, and are less likely to escape poverty as adults. They become physically and cognitively stunted, a fate that has befallen 11 million of Nigeria’s children under five.
“Nigeria’s high malnutrition rate is undermining progress towards improving child health and survival and putting the brakes on economic development and by investing in nutrition, we aim to directly improve the lives of Nigerian families and to empower our citizens to reach their full potential.”