Govt urged to adopt feeding template for IDPs
The federal government has been urged to consider providing balanced diet instead of several staple foods to the internally displaced persons as a remedy to the acute malnourishment in the various IDP camps.
The initiator of Yellow jerrican Save a Child Foundation, Adaora Onyechere, who said this while addressing the press in Abuja, called for the adoption and implementation of a generally acceptable template for the feeding of the IDPs.
She said government should work with nongovernmental organisations and other relevant agencies to formulate a balanced diet template with which food would be given to the IDPs.
“All the nongovernmental organisations should be able to provide a balanced diet template for one camp at a time. The template would be that every food that is given to the IDPs must be a balanced diet,” she said.
While unveiling the group’s campaign against malnourishment in the IDP camps tagged, “Rice is Not Enough,” she said malnourishment cannot be adequately tackled with staple foods and without the citizens’ participation.
“We are saying that it is not enough to just send food to the camps, because if the food were enough they would not be in the state they are right now. When you look at the evaluation of the NGO, UNICEF and UNHCR, you find out that there is an increase of non-balanced diet in the camps.
“It is not enough to just go and drop rice and maize when you have nursing mothers, and young children who are growing up because when you look at the method of distribution, the people who need the food don’t get it,” she said.
Onyechere said that when a child does not have access to milk outside breastfeeding, the child is bound to be malnourished, adding that proteins and other classes of food should also be distributed to the camps.
“There is no monitoring and evaluation system, the food distributed is not the majority of the diet of what these people need,” she also said.
She said the government was doing its part and called for citizen participation and collaboration between the National Emergency Management Agency and other civil society organisations and research organisations to be able to formulate and adopt a template across the camp.