WFP spends $95m for food intervention in North-East

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The World Food Programme (WFP) says it has spent about $95 million on procurement of locally produced grains for its emergency food intervention programme in the North-Eastern region of Nigeria.

The WFP’s Executive Director, David Beasley, made this disclosure during his visit to Maiduguri, a statement released on Thursday said.

The WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience.

Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Beasley said that the organisation had also injected 212 million dollars into the Nigerian economy through its cash transfer scheme, designed to provide food and nutritional support to displaced persons in the region.

He said that the figure also covered cost of transportation, local salaries and other miscellaneous expenditures.

“We are seeing the power of humanitarian assistance. It has changed the lives of malnourished children whose mothers once worried about whether they would survive.

“It is giving hope to many displaced and hungry people, and to others who are now returning home. Together, we are making a difference, but we must build on these fragile successes,” the WFP director said.

Beasley, however, warned that the overall situation remained extremely worrying as the lean season between June and September worsened malnutrition in many places.

He said that some of the challenges militating against the organisation’s ability to reach remote areas were insecurity, bad roads and no backup at the Lagos Port.

According to him, these challenges militated against the organisation’s ability to reach remote areas to deliver specialised nutritional supplements to children and deserving families.

“The broader impact of the crisis goes beyond Nigeria and spreads across the states in the Lake Chad Basin.

“It is a major crisis that needs security, humanitarian and development component; this is key to resolving the humanitarian crisis in the short and long terms.

“The international community cannot afford to ignore this problem or allow it to get worse,” Beasley said.

The WFP boss commended the Nigerian Government and humanitarian organisations over their support and commitment to address the humanitarian crisis in the region.

“The Nigerian Government demonstrated significant commitment to fight hunger, the government recently donated 5, 000 tonnes of rice to our operations.

“Authorities have also launched a separate relief initiative aimed at distributing 30, 000 tonnes of rice to hungry people in the troubled areas.”

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