The European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) has mobilized over $1 million for the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to enhance food production, and mitigate protection risks among households affected by the armed insurgency and COVID-19 pandemic in the North East states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.
A statement on Tuesday, 20 July, 2021 by FAO Representative in Nigeria and to ECOWAS,
Fred Kafeero, said the funding is the latest of ECHO’s support to restoring livelihoods and building resilience in the war-torn region.
Kafeero said through the funding, FAO will further strengthen the essential functioning of Food Security Sector, a multi-partner unit which coordinates the provision of food and livelihood assistance to millions of affected households in the region.
He noted that the funding will also support the restoration of agricultural livelihoods and improvement of protection of women and men through the provision of quality and improved agricultural inputs for food production during the 2021 rainy and dry seasons farming.
He added that this will be combined with the provision of extension services through the establishment of farmer field schools.
He also said under the same ECHO funding, FAO will increase the capacity for production and provision of environment-friendly fuel-efficient stoves (FES), largely to women, noting that availability of the FES is expected to reduce the women’s exposure to protection risks which are associated with frequent foray into insurgents-infested forests for firewood.
He recalled that recent studies by FAO revealed that households that use the FES have their trips to the forests to fetch firewood reduced by 50 percent while they also save about 50 percent from the cost of firewood.
Kafeero said: “This funding, which is a continuation of ECHO’s long-standing support to FAO in Nigeria, will significantly contribute to the recovery and resilience building efforts in northeast Nigeria.”
He revealed that working in close collaboration with the Government of Nigeria at national and sub-national levels, FAO will implement the initiative in partnership with local and international development partners to ensure its sustainability.
Northeast Nigeria is at the centre of one of the most severe humanitarian crises in the world, which resulted from an armed conflict that has killed more than 30,000 people and displaced over two million others since 2009.
The latest Cadre Harmonise analysis results projected that over four million persons will be in dire need of food assistance in the crisis most affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states between June and August 2021, an increase of about 19 percent from the same period last year; with the recent gains achieved in the region by humanitarian actors have been eroded by the COVID-19 pandemic.