World Food Programme (WFP) urgently requires $49 million to continue lifesaving support until the end of 2018 to assist the most food insecure and vulnerable people in the North-east Nigeria.
Myrta Kaulard, WFP Representative in Nigeria, said this in Maiduguri on Thursday in a statement e-mailed to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
She said to achieve a laudable result, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the WFP have launched a joint effort to support conflict-affected people in North-east to increase their food production and reduce dependence on food assistance.
Mrs Kaulard, however, noticed that in the 2018 appeal for north-east, FAO requested $31.5 million to assist farmers recover from the impact of the conflict.
She said $13.2 million has been received, leaving a gap of $18.3 million.
The UN official disclosed that monthly, WFP is providing food and cash assistance to more than 1.2 million food insecure and vulnerable people.
She said to prevent malnutrition WFP is also distributing specialised food to no fewer than 200,000 young children and almost 150,000 pregnant or breastfeeding women.
“In Rann, in Borno state and close to the Cameroonian border, WFP is providing life-saving support to all 67,000 people living in the town.
“The worrisome trend, not only threatened the well-being of millions of children, but also undermined efforts to end hunger and poverty,’’ she said.
Suffyan Koroma, FAO Representative in Nigeria, said that FAO and WFP are supporting more than 600,000 conflict-affected persons in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States during the rainy season.
He said the assistance has become imperative because so many families in north east have been affected by conflict for nine years and many have gone through terrible times.
Mr Koroma stressed the need for all concerned to work harder and together to put people back on the track of self-reliance, to rebuild their livelihoods and to restore their dignity.
“FAO is providing enough seed and fertiliser to over one million people during the 2018 rainy season, while WFP covers the food needs of households until these crucial harvests in September.
“FAO is assisting both the growing number of farmers who have returned to their villages to resume production, as well as the many still forced to live in camps,” he said.
Mr Koroma said in addition to distributing inputs like seed, FAO is expanding its farmer field school and savings and loans programmes in the region to strengthen both farming skills and access to finance for agri-business development.