The Dangote Foundation, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are expected to jointly commit $100m over the next five years to the fight against under nutrition in Nigeria.
The partnership, which was announced by Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Bill Gates on Thursday, at a press conference in Abuja, is expected to improve the lives of at least five million families by 2020.
In a joint statement, the two Foundations said they would begin a joint planning process to determine the details of the partnership. They also hinted that the programmes will include community-based approaches and proven interventions linked to behaviour change, fortification of staple foods with essential micronutrients, the community management of acute malnutrition, as well as investments in the local production of nutritious foods.
It added that a key objective would be improving the livelihoods of households by supporting nutrition-sensitive agricultural programmes that can increase family income, improve diets and empower women and youth.
Nigerian billionaire, Aliko Dangote said that in the spirit of the new partnership, governments at all levels should take even more deliberate and significant commitments to step up investments in nutrition.
“It is time to make strategic investments in interventions to eliminate malnutrition in Nigeria. This will be achieved through a massive scale-up of interventions, matched with effective coordination of efforts and innovative sustainable solutions. We have to ensure that malnourished children receive help and are prevented from dying, while we improve the conditions that led to their being malnourished in the first place,” he said.
Billionaire and philanthropist, Bill Gates was quoted as saying that nutrition is one of the highest impact investments to make in Nigeria’s future growth and prosperity, adding, “We know that well-nourished children are more likely to grow up to be healthy, fend off preventable diseases, achieve more in school and even earn higher income as adults.”
He said the partnership builds on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation strong commitment to Nigeria, which is one of several countries, where it is working closely with the government, the private sector and civil society to improve health and development outcomes.