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Norway, FAO to support 300,000 persons in Northeast with $6.3m

Internally Displaced Persons in Maiduguri.

The Norwegian government has renewed its funding collaboration with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), with the goal of supporting over 300,000 of Nigeria’s most vulnerable people.

Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, Knut Eiliv Lein, said this on Friday at the signing ceremony to kick-start project implementation.

“This particular programme has a framework of about $6.3 million which we are signing today,” the ambassador announced.

“That comes in addition to the core support that we are giving to FAO.”

The three-year initiative will assist 43,990 households (about 307,930 people) with at least 45% of those receiving agricultural inputs, livestock assets, and energy-saving stoves being women.

The beneficiaries are internally displaced people (IDPs), host communities and returnees of relocated households with special attention paid to women-headed households.

“Here we are looking at how we will provide inputs for farmers to be able to grow food,” FAO Representative in Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Fred Kafeero said.

“We are talking about improved seeds, high-yielding but also drought-resistant livestock because it is a key aspect in these particular communities, such as goat, poultry, some of those that are easily converted to income eventually,” Mr Kafeero explained.

The project comes just a few weeks after the release of the October 2022 food and nutrition study (Cadre Harmonisé), which shows that almost 17 million people, including IDPS and returnees, were in crisis or worse in 26 states and the Federal Capital Territory through October 2022.

Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states are home to 3 million of these people.

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.

Writing by Muzha Kucha; Editing by Tony Okerafor