Norway gov’t, FAO renew partnership to avert food crisis in North East

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Norway gov’t, FAO renew partnership to avert food crisis in North East

The government of the Royal Kingdom of Norway has renewed its funding cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of Nations (FAO) to help the most vulnerable populations in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, and Taraba States avert serious food crisis in 2023.

In its 2022 Food and Nutrition Analysis for the month of October, FAO called for proactive measures to scale up and sustain livelihood and food assistance.

FAO warned that an estimated 25.3 million Nigerians are in danger of experiencing a serious food crisis between June and August 2023.

According to Channels TV, the analysis reportedly indicates that about 17 million people including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and returnees in 25 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were in “crisis or worse level” through October 2022, three million of which are living in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states.

“Furthermore, an estimated 25.3 million people are projected to be in crisis or worse levels during the 2023 lean season (June – August) with 4.4 million in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, if immediate steps to scale up and sustain livelihood and food assistance are not taken,” it added in a statement.

According to FAO, the three-year intervention will benefit 43,990 households (about 307,930 individuals), with at least 45 percent of them being women as direct beneficiaries receiving items such as agricultural inputs, livestock assets, and energy-saving stoves.

The beneficiaries reportedly include IDPs, host communities, and returnees of relocated households with special attention paid to women-headed households.

Speaking in Abuja at a signing ceremony to kick-start the project’s implementation, the Ambassador of the Royal Kingdom of Norway to Nigeria, Knut Eiliv Lein said his country remained committed to supporting the efforts to restore the conflict-affected livelihoods in the North East.

“This project we are signing here today is part of Norway’s larger support to Nigeria in general, including humanitarian efforts specifically targeting those in need in the North East region.

“We have partnered with many organisations in addressing a number of issues, including health, food security, democracy, gender equality, and more,” Ambassador Lein said.

On his part, the FAO representative in Nigeria and to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Fred Kafeero, appreciated the support by Norway, describing it as another milestone in strengthening the commitment to the fight against poverty, food insecurity, and malnutrition in Nigeria.

“The new project, whose agreement we are signing here today, marks the continuous and fruitful collaboration, and partnership that exists between the government of the Royal Kingdom of Norway and FAO in Nigeria,” Mr Kafeero said.

“Thanks to this collaboration for years now, the conflict-affected populations of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe (BAY) states have greatly benefited from the agricultural-based livelihoods support that has enabled them to improve their food security as well as build their resilience.”

The support aims at enhancing resilience to the humanitarian crisis, climate variability, and change of vulnerable communities; and building resilient livelihoods in the BAY states against the negative effects of climate change, FAO said.

According to reports, the beneficiaries who receive special training on animal husbandry, farming, and agribusiness, are IDPs, host communities, and returnees of relocated households with special attention paid to women-headed households.

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