The Economic Community of West African States said it donated one million dollars to assist vulnerable families in the country in 2021.
In a joint statement by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, and the ECOWAS, made available to newsmen in Abuja on Friday, it revealed the relief package was meant for victims of insurgencies in the North-Western and North-Eastern parts of the country, in line with its global humanitarian assistance to the Nigerian
“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 the World Food Programme in Nigeria, to apply the fund for alleviating food and nutritional needs in Katsina, Zamfara and Borno States,” it said.
According to the statement, the target-beneficiaries had each received an average cash transfer of N27,000 via their prepaid bank cards or the WFP SCOPE cards every month (of year 2021) to purchase an assortment of local food provisions from local markets of their choice.
Sequel to these, about “14,070 children and 1,932 pregnant/breastfeeding women, received specialised nutritious food” across 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 6 – 23 months old, including pregnant and breastfeeding women from vulnerable and food-insecure households,” the ECOWAS and ministry stated.
The statement further revealed that in addition to providing life-saving food and nutrition assistance to vulnerable families, the WFP also used the ECOWAS donation to strengthen 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.