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The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will be donating foodstuff to the Nigerian authorities on Wednesday 2nd August 2017.

This ceremony is a follow-up to various consultations between the regional organisation and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on the food and nutrition crisis facing the North East of Nigeria as well as the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two parties on 22 May 2017.

Since the second half of June 2017, ECOWAS, through the Regional Food Security Reserve (RFSR) has been donating grains to NEMA warehouses in Borno, Gombe, Yobe and Adamawa.
A team from the Reserve’s Management Unit fielded a fact-finding mission to Maiduguri to assess the donations of the food items.

Some NEMA officers, particularly its Zonal Director in Maiduguri, Mohamed Kanar and Chief Store Keeper in Damaturu, Ibrahim Adamu, indicated that the distribution exercise is well organised.
Currently, 1130 tons of grains (millet, sorghum, and maize) have already been donated to NEMA and stored in the Maiduguri, Damaturu, Gombe and Yola warehouses. Bags of rice will be donated at a future date. Overall, it is envisaged that foodstuff amounting to 1 million US dollars will be donated, that is about 1,650 tons of grains consisting of white maize, sorghum, millet and rice.

The food and nutrition crisis in the North Eastern States of Nigeria affects about 4.7 million people who are experiencing chronic food insecurity. In other words, 36% of the total population would need emergency humanitarian aid.

There is also a high incidence of malnutrition in the internally displaced camps. Access to health care and humanitarian aid are also some of the challenges facing the people in these States.
It would be recalled that in September 2016, NEMA requested the President of the ECOWAS Commission for emergency humanitarian aid.

The donation of foodstuff is an initiative of the Food Security Storage Support Project in West Africa through the European Union’s financial contribution of 56 million Euro.

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