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Saturday, July 13, 2024

World Food Programme approves $2.56b strategic plan to combat hunger in Nigeria

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The World Food Programme (WFP) country director for Nigeria, David Stevenson, has announced the approval of a new Country Strategic Plan (CSP) valued at US$2.56 billion. In a joint media briefing with the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Stevenson highlighted that the CSP outlines WFP’s comprehensive assistance portfolio for Nigeria from 2023 to 2027. The primary objective of the plan is to achieve food security and improved nutrition in alignment with Sustainable Development Goal 2 (Zero Hunger).

The CSP goes beyond addressing hunger alone and aims to contribute to progress in various areas, including good health and wellbeing, inclusive education, gender equality, and climate action. Stevenson emphasized the plan’s goal of strengthening the national humanitarian and development response through a reinforced partnership between WFP, the government, and other stakeholders. Furthermore, the plan provides technical assistance and policy advice to maximize the government’s investment in food security and nutrition.

Effective from March 2023, the CSP aligns with Nigeria’s National Development Plan (2021-2025), Nigeria Agenda (2050), the National Multi-Sectoral Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition (2021-2025), and the National Humanitarian Development Peace Framework. Additionally, it is consistent with the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for Nigeria (2023-2027). This strategic alignment ensures a comprehensive approach towards addressing food security and nutrition challenges in the country.

Stevenson reaffirmed WFP’s commitment to delivering tangible results in Nigeria and working alongside partners who share the organization’s vision of Zero Hunger. He emphasized that by operating a food system that overcomes conflicts, WFP not only saves lives but also invests in the Nigerian economy. Over 90 percent of the food distributed by WFP to vulnerable individuals is purchased locally, injecting more than $775,000 USD per day into the Nigerian economy.

Paragraph 5: However, the success of the CSP hinges on the level of resources provided by donors to WFP. Stevenson stressed that voluntary contributions and the mobilization of funding through partnerships are crucial for WFP’s operations. With the current spike in food insecurity, WFP’s work in Nigeria becomes even more critical. It is estimated that over 25 million people in Nigeria will face acute hunger during the peak of the June-August 2023 lean season, with 4.4 million people in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe (BAY) states alone experiencing acute hunger.

Throughout 2023, WFP aims to assist approximately 2.1 million vulnerable people in Nigeria by providing food assistance, nutrition support, cash payments, and livelihood projects to build resilience among conflict-affected individuals. The organization also supports various durable solutions, including assistance to smallholder farmers, financial services, supply chain support, transport industry aid, social protection, post-harvest management, and food security analyses.

Stevenson commended the effective collaboration and support received from the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development (FMHADMSD). He highlighted WFP’s contribution to the development of critical policies such as the National Cash and Voucher Assistance Policy (NCVAP) and the National Home-Grown School Feeding program (NHGSF), both recently endorsed by the Federal Executive Council.

In conclusion, Stevenson assured Nigeria and its people that WFP remains dedicated to assisting in achieving the goal of Zero Hunger. The approved CSP, combined with collaboration from the Nigerian government, is expected to have a significant impact. Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, the permanent secretary, also expressed the importance of the partnership between the Ministry and WFP, emphasizing the need to strengthen the enabling environment and demonstrate a whole-of-society and whole-of-government approach in humanitarian delivery.

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