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FG, WFP to distribute ‘$1.1m COVID-19 palliatives’ in FCT

FG, WFP to distribute ‘$1.1m COVID-19 palliatives’ in FCT
November 20
14:50 2020

The federal government in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) has launched an initiative to distribute COVID-19 palliatives worth $1.1m in the federal capital territory (FCT).

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Sadiya Umar Farouq, minister of humanitarian affairs, said at the launch of the initiative on Friday that the programme is to bring succour to the poor amid the pandemic.

Represented by Jaji Abdulrahman, a director at the ministry, the minister said 50,000 beneficiaries under the programme from across three council areas will receive N30,000 in addition to food items.

Paul Howe, WFP country director in Nigeria, said the COVID-19 support is part of its efforts of achieving zero hunger in Nigeria by 2030.

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The WFP operations in Nigeria are funded by partners and donors such as Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, the European Commission, among others.

According to Howe, the joint initiative seeks to “reach the most vulnerable in partnership with the government to make sure we are getting to those in need because of the COVID-19 cases”.

“We are reaching about 50,000 people of the most vulnerable each in Abuja, Kano and FCT,” he said.

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“We are committing $1.1 million just for Abuja in three council areas and it is roughly the same thing in other states.

“We saw the impact of COVID-19 in urban areas. They don’t have their lives the way they use to; the economy is not quite as strong as it was, so they also are hungry.

“What we are trying to do is a one-off two months distribution to meet the needs of people. Resources are limited all around but with what we have, we want to target the right people with at least two months assistance.

“We are working towards zero hunger by 2030. So, it is not just about saving lives but also changing lives; that is working on livelihood and food assistance and other things that will make it possible for people in Nigeria to sustainably meet their hunger need.”

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He said in providing the assistance, the programme seeks to achieve three things: “To make the support COVID-19 sensitive to avoid spreading the virus, to make it economically smart by using the cash to grow the local economy and create employment and lastly, to achieve sustainability.”

This COVID-19 relief initiative of the WFP is particularly supported by the Swiss government.

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