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Publication | 2024

Evaluating the Role of Households' Food Security Status and Socioeconomic Determinants on Child Mortality in Nigeria

When addressing global development, it is imperative to recognize the relationship between food security and child mortality. Despite the targeted goals of SDGs 2 (zero hunger) and 3 (good health and well-being), Nigeria continues to grapple with relatively high rates of child malnutrition, alongside persistent challenges in child mortality and food insecurity that affect its population significantly. This study employed the Nigeria Living Standard Survey (NLSS) dataset with 11,655 households to estimate the impact of food (in)security on child mortality using the Propensity Score Matching (PSM). The study shows that food insecurity is predominant in the rural northern and urban southern part of Nigeria. Child mortality rates were found to be influenced by various factors such as maternal education, maternal age, geopolitical zones, place of residence, and access to healthcare facilities, showcasing a complex interplay of positive and negative impacts. The empirical estimates revealed that households’ food insecurity had a significant impact on child mortality in Nigeria. Hence, in order to achieve the SDG’s 2 and 3 in Nigeria, a more concerted effort should be geared towards food security and child mortality among the Nigerian rural and urban communities. The insights from this study underscore the importance of prioritizing interventions that drives food security, enhancing nutritional access, and tackling underlying social determinants to substantially reduce child mortality rates. It is imperative for policymakers, healthcare professionals, and communities to integrate complementarity approaches in developing sustainable solutions that safeguard the well-being and prospects of Nigeria's children.