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ECOWAS Gives $2 million in Aid to Red Cross, WFP

In a brief ceremony, the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation delivered cheques totalling nearly $2 million to the World Food Programme and the Nigeria Red Cross Society.

Funding was made available by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) who reached out to the ministry to coordinate the project.

At the inception meeting of its Flood Assistance Programme, attended by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, World Food Programme and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs, Fatou Sarr, handed over both cheques to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs who then handed them over to the Red Cross and the World Food Programme.

First, the Nigerian Red Cross, which aims to reach 3,500 households in Adamawa, Anambra, Oyo, Kebbi, Kogi and Rivers states, got a cheque of $906,205. The Red Cross will also dig 12 water boreholes to ensure access to clean water, thereby reducing the risk of water-borne diseases in selected communities.

According to the Director for Disaster Management of the Nigerian Red Cross, Benson Agbro, “this agreement exemplifies our shared commitment to humanitarian principles and the well-being of our citizens. It is a testament to what we can achieve through collaboration and solidarity. Together, we are not just responding to a disaster; we are building a foundation for a more resilient and prosperous future for our nation.”

Next, Fatou Sarr, assisted by representatives from the Ministries of Humanitarian Affairs and Foreign Affairs, also presented a cheque for $1 million to the Deputy Country Director of the World Food Programme, Guy Adoua. In Mr Adoua’s own words:

“This partnership will continue to deliver essential food, nutrition and resilience-building support to the communities in Katsina and Sokoto states and strengthen state government institutions and programmes for greater sustainability. ECOWAS and the Government of Nigeria have once again demonstrated their unwavering commitment to the welfare of the people with a generous contribution. Together, we are creating sustainable solutions that will ensure long-term food security and resilience in the region.”

The project implemented by WFP will provide food and nutrition assistance to more than 14,000 individuals over a period of six months. It will also provide livelihood support and psycho-social support to promote social cohesion and peace.

In her remark, Ms Sarr said: “ECOWAS has reaffirmed its dedication to alleviating the suffering of people impacted by humanitarian crises. The ECOWAS Commission is set to provide financial assistance, including

$906,205 for flood disaster relief in Nigeria from 2022 and $1,000,000 to support victims of violence in Nigeria in 2023. These funds aim to help stabilize the affected individuals.”

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Abel Enitan, said the project was timely:

“Suffice it to state that the lingering in our relief efforts, especially in combating hunger, malnutrition and the shortage of essential non-food items, highlights the importance of these projects, supported by the ECOWAS Commission. This is a substantial support for the ongoing efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria and it is coming at a time when funding for Humanitarian assistance is dwindling globally.”