Nigeria has been given $1m by the Economic Community of West African States to boost food and nutrition needs in Katsina, Zamfara and Borno states.
The fund was given to the United Nations World Food Programme in 2021 as part of an ECOWAS humanitarian assistance to the Nigerian government for victims of violent conflicts in the North-West and North-East.
According to a statement by the WFP on Thursday, the fund was approved for Nigeria from the ECOWAS Regional Stabilisation Fund and the Federal Government had sought the collaboration of the WFP in Nigeria to apply the fund to alleviating food and nutrition needs in Katsina, Zamfara and Borno states.
The programme targets 840 food-insecure households (about 4,196 persons) in Zamfara, Katsina and Borno states with food assistance.
The statement said, “The target beneficiaries receive 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. Beneficiaries are encouraged to buy a wide range of local nutritious foods from their preferred shops. Cash transfers have an additional advantage of stimulating local markets and agricultural production.
“It is to prevent acute malnutrition in children in the first 1,000 days of their lives; the programme also provides nutrition assistance to children six to 23 months old and to pregnant and breastfeeding women from vulnerable and food insecure households. Some 14,070 children and 1,932 pregnant/breastfeeding women receive specialised nutritious food in the three project states.”