The World Food Program (WFP) has announced a commitment of 2.5 billion dollars to combat hunger in Nigeria. This pledge was made during a delegation visit led by Mr. David Stevesson, the WFP director in Nigeria, to meet with Dr. Betta Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Anti-Poverty in Abuja, as reported by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
During their meeting, they discussed strategies to address hunger in Nigeria, humanitarian efforts in various local authorities across the country, and the United Nations' food supply program.
Stevesson outlined the program's approach, emphasizing support for local governments in food procurement and direct financial and food assistance to those in need. He proudly announced the WFP's commitment to invest 2.5 billion dollars over the next five years to combat hunger in Nigeria.
Furthermore, Stevesson noted that the program has identified over two million individuals who will benefit from this initiative. He expressed the agency's commitment to closely collaborate with the Nigerian Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to achieve their shared goals.
Stevesson acknowledged the Nigerian President's efforts to eradicate hunger and reduce the country's dependency on humanitarian aid. He expressed optimism about the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs' plans, which he believes will lead to substantial successes.
Dr. Betta Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Anti-Poverty, emphasized the importance of WFP's support in addressing Nigeria's humanitarian needs. She highlighted "fighting hunger" as a central project for her ministry, aimed at alleviating hunger and addressing other humanitarian issues in the country.
Edu called upon the WFP to work hand-in-hand with her ministry to achieve these objectives, noting that the program would target some of the most pressing challenges faced by the country. She emphasized that more than 133 million Nigerians are grappling with poverty in various forms, making the feeding program for primary school children a critical component of their anti-hunger efforts.
Edu disclosed her ministry's commitment to collaborate with aid agencies to distribute nutritious food to vulnerable groups, including couples, children under five years old, and primary school children. She also highlighted the ministry's mission to provide support to refugees, currently numbering over 80,000 people scattered across Nigeria.
Edu further explained innovative measures taken by her ministry, such as the establishment of humanitarian centers in all 774 local governments across Nigeria. These centers aim to alleviate the hardships faced by families, including challenges related to healthcare, education, transportation, and other essential needs.
In a recent report by the Commission during the winter season, it was found that 47 percent of Nigerians are dealing with insufficient food, representing an eight percent increase from 2022. The survey also indicated that 45.6 percent of respondents suffer from food insufficiency, raising concerns about malnutrition, disease, and poverty, according to the World Food Organization.