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Photo: Arne Hoel / World Bank

Working with the World Bank to provide technical support in nutrition to the Nigerian Government

Our programme in Nigeria supports research and technical assistance provided by the World Bank which helps scale-up a package of nutrition-related interventions in 12 states.


  • Aliko Dangote Foundation
  • UK Aid
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • World Bank


  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health & Wellbeing
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 17 - Partnership for the Goals




Nigeria - 12 states


2018 - 2024

Malnutrition is a serious problem in Nigeria, particularly for vulnerable groups such as mothers and children. Stunting (where a child is short for their age as a result of chronic malnutrition, causing lifelong and often irreversible effects) rates have remained stubbornly high since 2008, indicating a long-term and deep-set nutritional problem in the country. More than two in five children (44%) under five suffer from chronic malnutrition. This translates into 14.5 million Nigerian children at risk of either dying or not developing to their full potential.

Micronutrient deficiencies – mainly in vitamin A, iodine, iron, folic acid and zinc – are also a serious problem and despite their high cost-effectiveness, coverage rates of micronutrient supplementation and food fortification remain generally low. It is estimated that 30% of Nigerian children and 20% of pregnant women are vitamin A deficient, while 76% of children and 67% of pregnant women are anaemic. Anaemia can affect not only the woman’s own health but can also lead to pregnancy complications such as an increased chance of premature and low birth weight babies. 

Young women talking. Nigeria. Photo: © Curt Carnemark / World Bank
Young woman talking

Our programme

To tackle this, The Power of Nutrition is partnering with the World Bank to provide technical assistance and operational research to help the Government scale up a package of nutrition interventions. This support consists of four workstreams:

  1. Technical support to design a nutrition programme and assess pilots and innovations
  2. Technical support on knowledge management and learning
  3. Evaluation and improved data on nutrition programming
  4. Research and data to inform nutrition governance, policy and financing

The programme is also scaling up nutrition-related interventions in the following 12 states: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Oyo, and Plateau. These states were selected based on the burden of stunting throughout Nigeria and other factors such as willingness to borrow funds for nutrition, availability of state costed strategic plans for nutrition, and commitment of state financial resources to these plans.

Programme interventions

Technical support

Providing technical support to design and assess pilots and innovations.

Training key stakeholders

Training stakeholders to translate data into improved operational plans and advocacy tools.

Nutrition resources

Implementing multisectoral nutrition resource tracking and budget tagging analyses.

Food fortification

Running a food fortification study to provide a business case for private and public sectors to scale up food fortification in Nigeria.

Data analysis

Forming and training technical steering committees to collect and analyse data to inform nutrition governance, policy and financing.

Rice grains in bowl. Nigeria. Photo: Arne Hoel / World Bank

Progress to date


women, adolescents and children reached


facilities offering maternal treatment


pregnant women treated

To date, more than three million women, adolescents and children under five have been reached with maternal and child nutrition services. This figure has more than doubled, from one and a half million in 2021, showing the progress of the programme.

The World Bank is providing ongoing technical support to the Government to support this increased reach. For example, two State of Nutrition reports have already been published, with ongoing support provided for their evaluation. The World Bank is also supporting the Government on high-level advocacy for nutrition financing through training and the creation of advocacy briefs. Analyses which aim to strengthen nutrition policy and enhance coordination within the health sector were piloted in four states with the goal of increasing budgets for activities that improve nutrition outcomes. These activities are expected to contribute to the sustainable implementation of nutrition interventions, ensuring their continuation even after the conclusion of the programme.