The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says it donated one million dollars to assist vulnerable families in Nigeria in 2021.
This is contained in a joint statement by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and ECOWAS, released in Abuja.
ECOWAS said in the statement that it was part of its humanitarian assistance to the Nigerian government for victims of violent conflicts in the North West and North East part of the country.
“The fund from ECOWAS was granted to the government of Nigeria from the ECOWAS Regional Stabilisation Fund.
“The Government of Nigeria accordingly sought the collaboration of World Food Programme (WFP) in Nigeria, to apply the fund for alleviating food and nutrition needs in Katsina, Zamfara and Borno States.”
The programme targeted 840 food insecure households (some 4,196 persons) in Zamfara, Katsina and Borno with food assistance.
The target beneficiaries received an average cash transfer of N27,000 in their prepaid bank cards or WFP SCOPE cards every month to buy their preferred food from local markets.
The beneficiaries were encouraged to buy a wide range of local nutritious foods from their preferred shops, according to the statement.
“14,070 children and 1,932 pregnant/breastfeeding women, received specialised nutritious food in the three project states.
“Cash transfers have an additional advantage of stimulating local markets and agricultural production.
“To prevent acute malnutrition in children in the first 1,000 days of their lives, the programme also provides nutrition assistance to children from six to 23 months old.
“Also to pregnant and breastfeeding women from vulnerable and food insecure households,” ECOWAS and the ministry stated.
The statement further explained that in addition to providing life-saving food and nutrition assistance to vulnerable families, WFP also used the ECOWAS donation to build the resilience of households in the conflict-affected states of Borno, Adamawa, Yobe and Katsina.
“The project will provide milling machines and training support to 603 returnees from Cameroon and displaced rural women, to support them in generating some income to sustain their livelihoods,” it added. (NAN)