The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has launched a $2.5 billion Country Strategic Plan (CSP) to combat rising hunger and malnutrition in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa.
The plan, unveiled by WFP Country Director David Stevenson, targets regions in the North East, North West, and other selected states.
The initiative aims to address the pressing food security and nutrition challenges faced by Nigerians. Stevenson made the announcement during a joint press conference with the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, emphasizing the significance of this comprehensive plan in tackling the growing crisis.
Stevenson revealed that the plan defines WFP’s entire portfolio of assistance for Nigeria for a period of five years, effective 2023 to 2027
The Plan is designed to support Nigeria in achieving food security and improved nutrition by 2030, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 2).
- “The country strategy is valued at $2.56 billion and it’s more than $500 million a year of assistance for Nigeria to achieve food security and improve nutrition by 2030.”
Health and Well Being
The UN chief also noted that its plan CSP would contribute to progress in good health and well-being, inclusive education, gender equality, and climate action as well as foster a reinforced partnership in strengthening the national humanitarian and development response in accordance with the SDGs.
- “My job as country representative in Nigeria is effectively running a big business, a business that is valued at about $1 million every day of assistance.
- “And we are signing contracts with Nigerian companies, with Nigerian Civil Societies every day, to get the food assistance to where it’s needed.”
He urged Nigerians that this would be a new WFP investing in the Nigerian economy, meeting the needs of Nigerians and contributing to agricultural, productive food systems solutions, citing that the WFP operates a food system that sees conflict as the enemy of progress, adding that WFP was making a significant investment in the Nigerian economy by buying and investing locally.
- “All of this is aligned with Nigeria’s national development plan, with the Nigeria Agenda 2050.
- “The National multi-sectoral plan of action for food and nutrition in Nigeria and then Nigeria’s national humanitarian development peace framework.
Head of Programme WFP, Mr. Serigne Loum, said they would work on the humanitarian-development-peace angle to address challenges posed by the deteriorating food and nutrition situation, adding that the approach would be achieved through gender transformative, nutrition mainstreaming, climate-smart, and conflict-sensitive approaches.
Recall Nairametrics reported earlier this year that The United Nations warned 700,000 children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition in Nigeria, with 2 million children under the age of five facing the most immediate and life-threatening form of malnutrition in specific states.
The UN appealed for $400 million in funding to prevent widespread hunger and malnutrition in northeast Nigeria, with a focus on expanding food and nutrition assistance and providing clean water and sanitation, healthcare, protection, and logistics.
The funding accounts for less than 5% of the total requirement, highlighting the urgent need for assistance as malnourished children face a significantly higher risk of death, and over 1 million people may face emergency levels of food insecurity in the region. Strong political will and support for agriculture are also emphasized as crucial in addressing hunger and malnutrition.