The World Food Programme (WFP) began transporting food assistance to the northeast, where people displaced by Boko Haram violence need urgent food assistance.
The WFP said it has already begun moving the first batch of rice donated by the Government of Nigeria, which contributed 5,000 metric tonnes of rice and pledged a further 2,000 metric tons of millet.
“This donation once again testifies to the quality of relations between WFP and Nigeria,” Ronald Sibanda, WFP’s interim Country Director, said in a press statement by the UN.
Sibanda noted that the assistance by the UN humanitarian agency fighting hunger would help feed nearly half-a-million internally displaced people in the conflict-ravaged northeast.
“The United States will cover the associated costs of getting the donated rice to those displaced in the hardest-hit states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, as part of its 100 million dollars contribution to WFP’s Nigeria response.
“Nigeria’s crisis has spilled over borders, leaving millions in the broader Lake Chad Basin region uncertain of where their meal is coming from.
“Experts have warned that without sufficient and timely humanitarian assistance, northeast Nigeria risks tipping into famine,” he said.
He said since launching operations in 2016, WFP has rapidly expanded its offer of food, nutrition and cash to reach more than a million people a month.
Sibanda said having overcome a funding challenge, WFP has set its target at 1.36 million people during the current pre-harvest lean season, the hungriest time of the year.