The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has launched an initiative worth $3 million in three urban locations in Nigeria namely Lagos, Abuja and Kano.
An estimated 200,000 persons with 67,000 beneficiaries would receive food and cash assistance in each of the three nation’s cities.
At the launch of the One UN Basket Fund Project in Kano, WFP Country Representative, Paul Howe, said the distribution of cash and food began in Kano State to compliment the government’s efforts to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.
Howe noted that the initiative is assisted by the donation of 2,000 metric tonnes of food, valued at $1 million dollars, by the Federal Government through the National Strategic Grain Reserve.
“This is the first time that WFP is expanding its programme in the country to reach people in towns and cities, where millions are threatened with hunger and malnutrition due to the socio-economic fallout from the pandemic”, Howe said.
He stated that the intervention would be extended to Lagos and Abuja in the coming weeks to support the most vulnerable families.
“To minimise the risk of exposure to the virus, WFP has arranged for home deliveries of cash and food. In Kano, food will be delivered using the local ‘ke-ke‘ rickshaw service. In Lagos, WFP is partnering with the State Government to deliver food using boats to reach families living in the riverine community of Makoko. Meanwhile, in all three urban areas, cash will be transferred through pre-paid debit cards or online bank transfers.
“The Government of Nigeria has shown great commitment and leadership in responding to this crisis. This is exactly what we need during this time of pandemic and beyond to achieve Zero Hunger in Nigeria”, he said.
The Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, commended WFP for the support. He said the collaboration among world leaders and authorities is the best way to tackle the pandemic and its spiraling consequences.
He also lauded WFP for its well designed formular in the house-to-house distribution exercise. He noted that the initiative would ensure that the palliative reach the targeted persons.
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