Japan offers $1.5m for food distribution, agriculture in northeast

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Japan has extended a grant of $1.5 million to support food distribution and provision of agricultural inputs to most vulnerable internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host families in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

This is contained in a statement from Mr John Nwankwo, Senior Assistant/Advisor on General Affairs, Information and Culture of the Embassy of Japan in Abuja on Friday.

It quoted the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Sadanobu Kusaoke, as saying that the “gesture will to a large extent assist in reducing the risk of food shortage and malnutrition in the affected communities.”

The statement explained that the funding would be used to provide direct food assistance to selected 3,000 families of approximately 36,000 people over a period of six months.

It would also provide vegetable seeds and fertiliser for production and sale of vegetables to generate income that will enable the families purchase food in markets, as well as revive their livelihood.

It added that the benefiting households have been identified as some of the most vulnerable and extremely food insecure in seven local government areas in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.

The statement listed the local governments to include Michika, Mubi North, and Yola North in Adamawa; Jere and Maiduguri in Borno and; Damaturu, Geidam, Nangere and Yunusari in Yobe.

The statement indicated that the project would be implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and OXFAM.

”The implementing organisations are to collaborate with state government agencies and international and national NGOs to implement the activities which are part of the Nigeria Humanitarian Plan for 2016.

”The project would provide food assistance through obtaining food items from local markets and would facilitate efficient and effective distribution on a monthly basis to identified and registered IDPs and host families.

”The selection of IDPs and host families would be on the basis of vulnerability with a focus on women and children.

”The project would also support identified and registered IDPs and host families with access to land and water with agricultural inputs to engage in generating revenues from vegetable production and marketing,” it said.

The statement noted that the millions of people in the region severely affected by the insurgency and IDPs living in host communities had significantly increased the stress on communities already facing high levels of food insecurity.

It recalled that the recent Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Analysis carried out by the Federal Government and partners showed that about 216,969 people were currently in emergency food situation and need immediate humanitarian assistance.

“In addition, a further 2,315,407 people across the three North East states are in a crisis food situation and need humanitarian assistance.

“This figure is expected to increase to 2,690,946 people towards the lean season of June to August 2016.

“In addition to providing immediate food security to families, it is expected that this intervention will provide a spring board for host families to cope with their depleted food stock and revive their livelihoods,” it added.

DCSL 90X780

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