The Federal Government in Collaboration with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have flagged off the distribution of food and cash assistance programme in Abuja.
During the launch of the programme at karmajiji, Abuja, the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq said the Federal government will provide food items such as sorghum, millet and rice from the Strategic Grain Reserve while the World Food Programme will provide cash assistance.
The Minister speaking through the Director Human Resource Management of the Ministry, Abdurahman Babatunde Jaji, stated that the partnership was to provide assistance to the most vulnerable families to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said the cash and food assistance is targeted at three COVID-19 urban hotspot, Kano, Abuja and Lagos.
The Country Director of the World Food, Paul Howe, said it is the first time that WFP is expanding it’s programme in Nigeria to reach people in urban areas where the social and economic fallout of COVID-19 threatens to plunge millions of people into hunger and malnutrition in Nigeria.
According to Howe, the assistance is targeted at three Council Areas, Amac, Bwari and Gwagwalada in Abuja. About 50,000 people are to benefit from the assistance worth US$1.1million in Abuja. Some beneficiaries will receive three bags of 25kg of sorghum, millet and rice plus N14,000 prepaid cards, some households will receive prepaid card of N38,000, some households will receive direct bank transfers of N38,000 while other individuals will receive N38,000, using mobile wallet.
He noted that WFP is working in Nigeria in the conflict- affected States of Borno, Adamawa and Give, supporting some 1.8 million internally displaced people, returnees, children and women with food and nutrition assistance. WFP is also providing technical support to strengthen Nigeria’s government – led social protection system and is scaling up its direct support in areas where COVID-19 threatens to drive up extreme levels of vulnerability.
The Village Head of Karubiyi, His Royal Highness Dauda Dogo, appreciated the Ministry and the WFP for choosing the community for the cash and food assistance in the FCT and said that the items will be of great benefit to the vulnerable people in his community.