Contributes US$2.2m to emergency response in North-East
By Ada Anioji
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has announced the receipt of a contribution of AUD$3 million (US$2.2 million) from the Government of Australia that will provide food and nutritional assistance to tens of thousands of people in northeastern Nigeria, where the Boko Haram insurgency and the current lean season have resulted in an intensified hunger crisis.
This is even as the insurgency persists in the country with no less than eight persons confirmed dead in a dawn suicide bombing at a mosque that is situated within the long embattled University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Borno State.
“The scale of the humanitarian situation in the northeast of Nigeria and the Lake Chad region demands an action-oriented response,” said the Australian High Commissioner in Nigeria, Paul Lehmann. “The Australian government is proud to be working with our long-standing partner, the World Food Programme, to offer an important contribution to the combined efforts aimed at relieving the suffering of the communities most affected.”
The funding will support WFP food assistance to nearly 111,000 people, including specialized nutritional food for some 47,000 pregnant and nursing women. It comes as an estimated 5.2 million people face intense hunger during the period between harvests. Experts believe as many as 50,000 people are experiencing famine-like conditions.
“We are grateful to Australia for its continuous support to families in northeastern Nigeria,” said Ronald Sibanda, WFP Representative and interim Nigeria country director. “This contribution is timely as it will help us reach the most vulnerable at a critical period of the year.”
With this most recent contribution, the Australian Government has now provided a total of AUD$15.7 million (US$12.3 million) over the past year for WFP’s humanitarian response in northeastern Nigeria and the broader Lake Chad region.
On record, WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists an estimated 80 million people in around 80 countries.
Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull