by Irene Willie
The World Food Programme (WFP) has pledged to support President Bola Tinubu’s Zero Hunger Programme under the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
The Country Director of WFP, David Stevesson, made this known when he led a team of the United Nations (UN) agency on a visit to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu in her office.
Stevesson disclosed that to achieve success 2.1 million Nigerians have already been captured as beneficiaries of the programme with the hope to increase the number in partnership with the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu.
According to him, the organization was excited with the robust drive of President Tinubu’s government to eradicate poverty and reduce humanitarian crises in Nigeria.
Stevesson remarked, “I have been very impressed with the Minister’s leadership, putting together the strategy for the ministry in such a short time. We talked about zero hunger, we talked about the humanitarian hubs in every local government area in the country and the World Food Programme’s potential to support those hubs through buying food locally. These are very impressive.
While pledging WFP’s support to the Federal Government’s humanitarian and poverty intervention efforts including the food security agenda and the Zero Hunger Programme among others, he said, “let me announce here that the World Food Programme is committed to spending $2.5Billion to fight hunger in Nigeria in the next five years.”
Responding, Dr. Edu informed the WFP Country Director that there were over 133million people in Nigeria affected by multidimensional poverty, describing the WFP’s intervention of $2.5Billion for five years as apt, saying “the intervention will go a long way to address some of the biggest challenges the country is facing, one of which is hunger.”
The Minister further said, ‘Zero Hunger’ was “one of the projects we have initiated as part of poverty and humanitarian response efforts. We are ready to partner with the WFP to achieve results.”
Edu explained that the Homegrown School Feeding programme was one aspect of the Zero Hunger Project, stressing “We will be working on different nutritional programme targeted at pregnant women, children under age five, feeding of persons affected by humanitarian crises, the aged and persons of concern “including refugees that have found themselves within our space.”
Continuing, she said, “We have over 80,000 refugees presently in Nigeria. In just my home State (Cross River State), there are over 40,000 refugees and these are those, who are registered.
“Part of the innovation, which we are bringing on board is what we call Humanitarian Hubs because we want to create 774 of these hubs in each local government area across Nigeria.” she added.