Lagos - Thousands of Nigerian refugees that have fled the country are poised to benefit from donation of cash and goods to the value of US$40 million donated to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Niger.
Apart from alleviating the problems of scores of impoverished citizens in the West African country, WFP is also assisting more than 60 000 Nigerian refugees with life-saving food after they have fled violence in northern Nigeria following tension along the border in Diffa region.
Benoit Thierry, WFP Niger’s Country Director said this was a timely and significant contribution that would enable WFP to provide urgent food assistance to the most needy.
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"It will also sustain WFP’s efforts to build the resilience of these vulnerable people. The contribution comes just when Niger is facing several crises connected with an absence of food and displacement due to conflict in neighbouring countries. It is evidence of the robust partnership between WFP and USAID.”
More than 2,5 million people in Niger are said to be food insecure as this year’s harvest showed a cereal deficit of some 230 000 metric tonnes.
Niger is also hosting around 150 000 refugees from Nigeria and Mali, placing additional strain on already stretched communities and services.
WFP’s intervention in Niger aims to respond to emergencies and build community resilience in rural areas. However, the lack of funding is a big challenge to improving livelihoods, building resilience to future shocks and breaking the cycle of chronic poverty.
The funding shortfall for 2015 is around US$200 million.
- CAJ News