Abba Dukawa, Kano
Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS) in Solidarity Donates Food to the most Vulnerable Households in Nigeria faced with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which is exacerbating humanitarian challenges in Nigeria, already confronted with the cumulative effects crisis and disasters, the ECOWAS Commission on Friday as part the region’s solidarity with the Government and People of Nigeria.
The official handover ceremony will be held at Hotoro Deport, Kano state tomorrow (Saturday 22/08/2020), it will be chaired by the Commissioners of Social Affairs and Gender and Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Siga Fatima Jagne and Mr. Sékou Sangaré, respectively.
According to Commissioners, the donation consists of 1,196 tons of cereals financed by the ECOWAS Commission’s Humanitarian Emergency Fund for Disaster and Emergency Relief to Member States affected by a humanitarian crisis while the second donation of 2, 803 tons is funded by the resources of the Regional Food Security Storage Support Project, which the European Union is financing for a total amount of €56 million.
This regional solidarity will be demonstrated through food donations of a total quantity of 3,999 tons of cereals comprising of millet and sorghum.
Dr. Siga Fatima noted that the grains will be taken from the stocks in the ECOWAS Regional Food Security Reserve, partly warehoused with the Federal Strategic Reserve Department (FSRD) and distributed free of charge to the households mostly affected by the humanitarian situation in the country.
Adding that these donations complement the multidimensional support that ECOWAS has provided to Nigeria since the advent of Covid -19 in the country on February 27, 2020. These food donations will help the most vulnerable households cope with the multiple crises while safeguarding their livelihoods.
According to Commissioners, the Covid-19 pandemic cuts across all sectors and disrupts production, warehousing, marketing, processing, and distribution systems of agricultural and food products, especially in the North Eastern part of the Country.
In addition, the Harmonized Framework for Identifying Risk Areas and Vulnerability estimates that over 7,087,102 people are currently in difficult food situations in the country, including Internally Displaced Persons and children affected by malnutrition. In this regard, the ECOWAS Commission has therefore decided to provide it with the support of the region through its Humanitarian Emergency Fund and the financial support of the European Union within the framework of the Regional Food Security Storage Support Project.
Recalling that the ECOWAS Humanitarian Policy aims to prevent, mitigate, and provide durable solutions to the complex emergencies and its effects, including natural and man-made disasters in the region. It complements the ECOWAS Disaster Risk Reduction Policy which focuses on disaster risk reduction through the design of interventions aimed at reducing risks as an obstacle to development