WFP to donate $2.5 billion to tackle widespread hunger in Nigeria
The World Food Programme (WFP) has pledged to commit $2.5 billion to strengthen and support Nigeria’s efforts towards sustainable food security and zero hunger nationwide.
The WFP country director, David Stevenson, disclosed this when he led the UN agency’s team to the minister of humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation, Betta Edu, on Wednesday in Abuja.
“We talked about zero hunger, we talked about humanitarian hubs in every local government area in the country, we talked about the world food programme. The potential to support those hubs through buying food locally and assisting the needy with cash transfers and food,” stated Mr Stevenson.
The WFP official added, “Let me announce here that the World Food Programme is committed to spending 2.5 billion dollars to fight hunger in the next five years in Nigeria.”
Mr Stevenson explained that the agency had already captured 2.1 million beneficiaries under the programme, hoping to maintain a working relationship with the ministry to achieve the target. He expressed the agency’s readiness to support the federal government’s determination to address humanitarian crises and poverty issues, especially regarding food security.
“We are excited by President Bola Tinubu’s commitment and drive to eradicate poverty and reduce humanitarian crises in Nigeria. The new energy which the minister is bringing into the space gives us hope that we will accomplish a lot together,” said Mr Stevenson.
While congratulating the minister on her appointment, the WFP country director expressed optimism about the ability of the minister to deliver on the mandate.
Ms Edu said the intervention would go a long way to address some of the country’s humanitarian challenges.
“We, therefore, appeal to the WFP to key into it by working with the ministry to achieve results. Because this intervention will go a long way to address some of the biggest challenges the country is facing,” stated the minister. “The Ministry will be working on different nutritional food programmes that will target pregnant women, children under the age of five years and school pupils.”
Ms Edu added, “Feeding persons who are affected by humanitarian crises, the aged including refugees that have found themselves within our space. Currently, we have over 80,000 persons living as refugees across Nigeria.”
She said the ministry introduced an innovative way of rejigging the humanitarian response in the country, creating a “humanitarian hub,” because “we want to create 774 of these humanitarian hubs in each local government across Nigeria.”
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