ECOWAS Donates 1.9 million USD For Vulnerable Nigerian

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By Rahila Lassa, Abuja.

 

The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS has donated the sum of 2.9 million USD to the Nigerian government for humanitarian support to the most vulnerable persons in the country.

 

ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs, Professor Fatou Sow Sarr presented the dummy cheque to the World Food Programme, Nigerian Red Cross and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, in Abuja, Nigeria.

 

Professor Sarr said ECOWAS is continually concerned about ameliorating the conditions of victims of disasters caused by events that have caused deaths, forced displacements, loss of properties and livelihoods or are potentially exposed to calamities.

 

” Nigeria was accordingly allocated Nine Hundred and Six Thousand, Two Hundred and Five United States Dollars ($906,205USD) and without doubt, received the highest amount among the Member States due to the impact of the flooding. Within the spirit of the same framework, the ECOWAS Commission provided the sum of One Million United States Dollars ($1,000,000) as funds for assisting victims of violence in Nigeria referred to as Stabilization Fund for Assisting Victims of Violence in Nigeria.

Both funds are intended to assist the populations affected in their recovery and resilience building processes”.

 

She explained that the donation was categorised into 3; a cheque of 906,205 USD
for response to the flood disaster that afflicted Nigeria in 2022 and a cheque of 1, 000,000 USD to support victims of violence in Nigeria in 2023.

She disclosed that the Nigerian Red Cross Society is implementing the flood disaster response while the World Food Programme is implementing the Stabilization project.

 

This, she said is in line with the provisions of the ECOWAS Humanitarian Mechanism which provides for the processes and procedures of delivering humanitarian assistance to ECOWAS Citizens and the Nigerian Government through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty alleviation was requested to identify credible implementing partners as implementors of the projects.

 

Responding, earlier, the Director, Humanitarian Affairs, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mr. Valentine Ezulu said the Humanitarian Response for affected Population for Post 2022 Flood Disaster in Nigeria would be carried out in Adamawa, Kogi, Kebbi, Uyo, Rivers and Anambra States respectively.

 

He said the Project is aimed at alleviating the suffering of 2,100 households and 12,600 persons and the 2,100 households is divided into 350 households per State.

“Furthermore, it is worthy to note that the outcome would be immediate needs of the target Communities are met through the provision of Essential Household Items (EHIS) including Food and Non Food Items. Furthermore, provision of Shelter/VIP latrine needs of affected persons should have been met through this intervention, water supply in the selected Communities should have been met at the expiration of the project thereby raising awareness regarding the anticipated flood in 2024 within and outside the selected States”.

 

Mr Ezulu further stated that the ECOWAS Food and Nutrition Assistance and other Support to Vulnerable People in Northern Nigeria, Phase I, commenced 2021 with Borno, Katsina and Zamfara States being the beneficiaries.

 

He commended the ECOWAS for considering to commence the Phase 2 of the Project in Katsina and Sokoto States as indicated by the Ministry based on the malnutrition experienced in the States.

 

” It is worthy to mention that the Project is expected to help improve the food insecurity and malnutrition in the selected States, build resilience of the affected populations, provide psycho-social support to survivors of violence and addressing mental health challenges faced by individuals and communities in these settings, support- the well-being of survivors and contributes to building sustainable social cohesion and peace in conflict-affected communities”.

 

He analysed that the Project would provide nutrition assistance for six months to six thousand, seven hundred and eighty eight (6,788) malnourished children and five thousand, six hundred an fifty-seven (5,657) pregnant & breastfeeding women (PBW) in Sokoto and Katsina States respectively.

 

According to him, the beneficiaries would receive monthly ration of the specialized nutritious food Super Cereal to prevent malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency.

” This activity would also provide cash-base transfers to help meet the food assistance needs of one thousand, nine-hundred and forty-nine (1,949) IDPs and other most vulnerable groups”.

 

The Nigerian Red Cross said the joint efforts will include the provision of food and cash assistance to 3,500 households and construction of 12 water boreholes to ensure access to clean water, thereby reducing the risk of water-borne diseases in selected communities.

 

Represented by the Director, Disaster Management, Mr. Benson Agbro, the Nigerian Red Cross said as implementing partner, the Nigerian Red Cross Society will execute the project in six states, ensuring timely and efficient delivery of assistance and maintaining transparency.

Mr Agbro further urged all relevant stakeholders to act and provide the necessary infrastructure needed to control and mitigate the effects of flooding thereby improving peoples’ lives.

 

” Indeed, it calls for collective and decisive action by all concerned stakeholders as the government cannot do it alone. In the recent years, flooding have become a routine, annual happening, but Flood Disaster affects lives and a drain on the economy”. Agbro said.

He added that through the partnership,The Nigerian Red Cross is committed to enhancing Resilience, improved Health and Sanitation as well as Economic Recovery.

 

The Deputy Country Director, World Food Programme in Nigeria, Mr. Guy Adoua said the collaboration between the Government of Nigeria, ECOWAS and the World Food Programme has brought hope and tangible benefits to the people of Nigeria, especially the vulnerable communities in Katsina and Sokoto states.

 

He said the Work of the WFP in Nigeria in 2021-2022 has demonstrated the profound difference that coordinated efforts and strategic partnerships can make.

He noted that the tangible improvements in the lives of countless individuals affirm its collective commitment to a brighter future for all Nigerians.

 

According to Adoua, the Phase 2 of the project comprises a multi-sectoral intervention designed to address the underlying factors contributing to food and nutrition insecurity.

” WFP will provide a multi-dimensional assistance in Katsina and Sokoto states, using stabilization funds from ECOWAS. This assistance includes: Food and nutrition assistance to fourteen thousand three hundred and ninety-four (14,394) individuals over a duration of six months, livelihood support, capacity for state systems, and psycho-social support to promote social cohesion and peace”.

 

While commending the ECOWAS and the Government of Nigeria for their continued support and collaboration, he said 1 million USD contribution with additional five hundred and seventy-one thousand six *hundred* and six dollars (571,606) USD contribution from WFP will undoubtedly make a significant impact in the lives of the target population.

He reiterated the committment of WFP to ensuring that it reaches those who need it most.

 

Jide Ibitoye.

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