Cash and Voucher Assistance to Improve Maternal and Child Nutrition Outcomes in Emergency Contexts of Nigeria

In Nigeria, nearly 12 per cent of children under 5 years are wasted according to the National Food Consumption and Micronutrient Survey (2021). Wasting is largely concentrated in the North with 58 per cent of all cases residing there. In the Northeast and Northwest regions of Nigeria, the prevalence of wasting is 17 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively. In 2023, it was projected that nearly 6 million children aged 0-59 months in Northeast and Northwest Nigeria would be acutely malnourished, including 1.6 million severely malnourished. In addition, nearly 512,000 pregnant and lactating women will also likely suffer from acute malnutrition. The nutrition situation in more than half of the local government areas (LGAs) in Northeast and Northwest regions during the lean season (May – September) can be classified as Serious or Critical (IPC Acute Malnutrition Phase 3 and above).

The protracted conflict in Northeast, high incidences of insecurity in Northwest, extreme weather events associated with climate change, persistently high levels of inequality, high levels of food insecurity, economic impacts of COVID-19 pandemic and global crises, and very low coverage of preventive interventions have exacerbated the vulnerabilities in these regions, reversing the recent years of progress pertaining to national Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) targets.