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NESG links inflation to malnutrition among 26.5 million Nigerians, seeks gender-inclusive partnership – Nairametrics

By Nnaemeka Onyekachi

The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has linked inflation and increasing food prices as factors contributing to malnutrition and food insecurity among millions of women and children in Nigeria.

The CEO Of NESG , Dr. Tayo Aduloju, disclosed this on Friday at the press briefing of the Policy Innovation Centre(PIC), attended by a Nairametrics analyst.

The briefing is ahead of NESG-PIC’s Gender and Inclusion Summit 2024 (GS-24), tagged “Reimagining Gender-Inclusive Pathways and Partnerships for Poverty Reduction”, set to hold on September 4 and 5, 2024 in Abuja, Nigeria.

Gender disparity and multidimensional poverty

Aduloju said evidence shows a parallel relationship between multidimensional poverty and gender inequality, with countries performing poorly on the Global Gender Report also exhibiting high severe multidimensional poverty.

According to him, multidimensional poverty encompasses deprivations in health (undernutrition, child mortality), education (years of schooling, attendance), and living standards (electricity, sanitation, water, housing, cooking fuel, asset ownership).

Highlighting the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2023, he said Nigeria ranked 109th out of 125 countries, indicating severe hunger levels, with women, girls and persons with disabilities facing higher food insecurity.

What he said,

“In 2024, around 26.5 million Nigerians are projected to be food insecure, with about 4.8 million at risk in the conflict-affected northeast.

“Similarly, approximately 9 million children under five are at risk of acute malnutrition, impacting their growth and further perpetuating poverty.

“Conflict, climate change, inflation, and increasing food prices are among the pathways contributing to the rise in high food insecurity and malnutrition rates.”

Citing a World Bank report, he pointed out that there is significant gender disparities in labour participation in Nigeria, with about 65.5% of men participating compared to around 52.1% of women.

These disparities extend to business ownership, political leadership, employment, mobile phone use, and bank account ownership.

“The National Bureau of Statistics indicates that about two-thirds of Nigerians are multi-dimensionally poor, lacking income and basic amenities like healthcare, education, and clean cooking fuels.”

He explained that the development is why the Gender and Inclusion Summit 2024 is being convened to arrive at clear-cut gender-inclusive strategies and imperatives for poverty reduction.

More insights

The Executive Director of the Policy Innovation Centre, Dr Osasuyi Dirisu also stated that “the intersection of poverty and gender inequity underscores profound challenges in health, livelihood, and living conditions, particularly evident in Nigeria.

According to her, many families in Nigeria are experiencing severe poverty, aggravated by disparities in access to resources and opportunities.

Africa is home to a significant proportion of the world’s poorest and marginalised populations. Despite economic growth in some regions, poverty remains pervasive, with a large segment of the population living below the poverty line of $2.15.

“The slow progress of many African countries in achieving their full social and economic potential has been linked to the failure to embrace gender equity, ” She added.

What you should know

  • Established in 1996, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group is a non-profit, non-partisan leading Think-tank with a mandate to promote and champion the reform of the Nigerian economy into a modern globally competitive, sustainable, inclusive, and open economy.
  • To achieve their objective, the group periodically engages key stakeholders in the sector through workshops and events on priority reform issues by adopting evidence-based advocacy approaches to economic challenges.
  • The PIC is an initiative of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the convener of the Gender and Inclusion Summit.
  • The Summit was conceptualised in 2022 as an annual event that gathers stakeholders to brainstorm on relevant solutions to advance gender and social inclusion in Nigeria.
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