Aliko Dangote Foundation Joins Global Leaders To Fight Malnutrition, Pledges Us $100m For Nigeria  

Aliko Dangote
Aliko Dangote. Photo: Reuters

The recently   concluded Global   Nutrition   Summit   2017, held   in   Milan,   Italy, convened governments,   international agencies,   foundations,   civil   society organisations and businesses to accelerate the global response to malnutrition, an underlying cause of nearly half of all global child deaths.

A major highlight of the Summit was the pledge by the Aliko Dangote Foundation to invest US$100 Million  over  five   years   to   tackle malnutrition in the  worst-affected parts of Nigeria.

The Aliko Dangote Foundation is the philanthropic organisation of Aliko   Dangote,   founder   and   Executive   Chairman   of   the   Dangote   Group, Africa’s largest homegrown conglomerate.
The Global Nutrition Summit is the global forum of the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2026).  This year’s edition was held in close partnership with a number of   international   stakeholders   including   the   U.K.’s   Department   for   International Development, the World Health Organisation, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the International Coalition   on Advocacy   for   Nutrition.

The   governments   of   Ethiopia,   Ivory   Coast, Burkina   Faso   and   Zambia   all   made   commitments   to   expand   their   nutrition
programmes and the Summit succeeded in galvanising US3.4 billion according to the organisers.

Malnutrition affects every country in the world in various forms, however Africa is particularly hard hit and Nigeria is home to the highest numbers of malnourished children.

Almost half of the on 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.

The Aliko Dangote Foundation’s Managing Director and CEO Zouera Youssoufou said: “Nigeria’s  high   malnutrition   rate   is undermining progress towards improving child  health   and  survival   and  putting   the  brakes   on economic   development.     By investing in nutrition, we aim to directly improve the lives of Nigerian families and to empower our citizens to reach their full potential.”

The Global Nutrition Report 2017, launched at the Summit, showed that, in spite of progress, 155 million children globally are still stunted and the world is off track on meeting internationally agreed nutrition targets.

Financing to tackle malnutrition has been alarmingly low. Donors spend about 0.5 percent of overseas aid on nutrition, 1Kindly   4 November 2017 and countries allocate between one and two percent of their health budgets to the issue.
“The   global   malnutrition   crisis   endangers   the   physical   and   mental   wellbeing   of present and future generations” said  Kofi Annan, speaking at  the   summit  in his capacity   as   Chair   of   the   Kofi   Annan   Foundation.

“Progress   in   tackling   both under nutrition and obesity is possible with targeted commitments, like those made here today. We need further urgent investments so that people, communities and nations can reach their full potential.”

Through   his   Foundation,   since   1993,  Aliko   Dangote   has  made   significant   social investments in health, education, economic empowerment and disaster relief.

He is now becoming the strongest voice for nutritional leadership nationally and on the continent of Africa. By making this unprecedented US$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, where malnutrition has affected millions of lives and crippled