The ECOWAS Commission comes to the Aid of People suffering from food crisis in the North East of Nigeria
Maiduguri, 8 August 2017. The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) through one of its agencies, the Regional Food Security Reserve (RFSR) donated 1,130 tons, about 22,600 bags of foodstuff to the Nigerian government for distribution to the following States: Borno, Gombe, Adamawa and Yobe.
The presentation of the foodstuff such as maize, sorghum and millet took place in Maiduguri, Borno State capital on Tuesday 8 August 2017.
This was a follow-up to the series of meetings held between the regional organisation and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on food and nutrition crisis facing North East Nigeria and the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two parties on 22 May 2017.
Receiving the food items on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, NEMA’s Director General Mr Mustapha Maihajia and Director of Aid and Rehabilitation, Mr Kayode Fagbemi, expressed their gratitude to the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr Marcel de Souza, for this laudable humanitarian assistance.
According to NEMA’s estimates, more than one million people including 211,000 from Borno State will benefit from this assistance in the North-East of Nigeria, a region affected by the food crisis.
The State’s Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, who was also in attendance, thanked the ECOWAS Commission and its President, for the humanitarian aid to the people of Borno.
«We thank you very sincerely for this kind gesture extended to our crisis-torn communities», he said, calling on the management team of NEMA to ensure that the foodstuff get to the appropriate quarters.
On behalf of the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr Marcel de Souza, the acting Director of Humanitarian Affairs, Mrs Florence Iheme stated that this food aid is the organisation’s contribution to alleviate the suffering of the people in the North East of Nigeria.
She explained that this is a token of the importance ECOWAS attaches to disasters that occur in this part of Nigeria.
«The West African community is concerned about the situation in the North East of Nigeria which has become an enclave of constant attacks on the people and loss of human lives. ECOWAS supports the Federal Government of Nigeria in its efforts to fight the Boko Haram terrorist group menace, Mrs Iheme affirmed.
She reaffirmed ECOWAS willingness to provide humanitarian assistance to the people in the North East of Nigeria.
Apart from Mrs Iheme, ECOWAS delegation to the ceremony comprised of the Ag. Director of Communication, Liberor Doscof Aho, Coordinator of the Food Security Storage Support Project, Prof Mitowanou Egnonto Koffi-Tessio and Manager, RFSR, Dr Koffi Emmanuel Glé.
Since the second half of June 2017, ECOWAS, through its (RFSR, a unit coordinated by the Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF), and a specialised organ of the Commission, based in Lomé, Togo, distributes grains to States in the North East of Nigeria such as Borno, Gombe, Yobe and Adamawa.
About 4.7 million people are facing chronic food insecurity as a result of the food and nutrition crisis in these States. In other words, 30% of the total population are in need of emergency humanitarian aid.
In addition to the 1130 tons of grains which were presented to NEMA today, several bags of rice will also be delivered to the Nigerian authorities at a future date. Overall, it is envisaged that about a million dollar worth of foodstuff will be delivered.
The donation of foodstuff is an initiative of the Food Security Storage Support Project in West Africa through the European Union’s financial contribution of 56 million Euro.
It would be recalled that in 2016, NEMA requested the President of the ECOWAS Commission for emergency humanitarian aid.