21,000 flood victims to benefit from ECOWAS humanitarian aid — NRC

21,000 flood victims to benefit from ECOWAS humanitarian aid — NRCS

The Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) says 21,000 people are expected to benefit from ECOWAS stabilisation funds for victims of flood disaster across six most affected states in Nigeria.

Mr Abubakar Kende, the Secretary General of NRCS, disclosed this in Abuja during an inception meeting of the ECOWAS humanitarian support for people affected by floods in Adamawa, Anambra, Oyo, Kebbi, Kogi and Rivers States.

Kende was represented by the NRCS Director of Disaster Management, Mr Benson Agbo, at the event with the theme: Building Stronger and Resilient Families in Nigeria.

The meeting was organised in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

ECOWAS, during the meeting, presented a cheque of nine hundred and six thousand, two hundred and five dollars ($906,205.00) to the Red Cross for effective implementation of its stabilisation programme.

“In our effort to alleviate the suffering of the vulnerable in Nigeria, we have signed a tripartite agreement with ECOWAS and the Humanitarian Ministry.

“To support communities affected by flood disasters in Adamawa, Anambra, Oyo, Kebbi, Kogi and Rivers States.

“We are ready to go to these selected communities to deliver essential humanitarian aid to 21,000 individuals in 3,500 households across these six states that are the worst hit.

“To ensure that the flood survivors return to their normal lives.

“We encourage relevant stakeholders to act and provide the necessary infrastructure needed to control and mitigate the effects of flooding thereby improving peoples’ lives.

“As an implementing partner, the Nigerian Red Cross Society will execute the project in six states, ensuring timely and efficient delivery of assistance and maintaining a transparent process,’’ Kende said.

Similarly, the ECOWAS Commissioner, Human Development and Social Affairs, Prof. Fatou Sow Sarr, presented a cheque of one million dollars ($1,000,000) to WFP.

Sarr said the fund was for effective implementation of ECOWAS stabilisation programme to persons of concern by providing food and nutrition, especially to victims of violence in Nigeria.

“Our focus will continue to be people-centred; therefore, projects such as this will continue to be the focus of the management of ECOWAS programming.

“We invite you all to continue to accompany us to change the lives and livelihoods of our peoples for good, especially those at the grassroots,” the commissioner said.

For his part, the Deputy Country Director of WFP in Nigeria, Mr Guy Adoua, said WFP has built an enduring structure, critical to delivering food and nutrition to vulnerable people in need.

“We have not only addressed immediate food and nutrition needs of these vulnerable communities but we made significant strides in strengthening the resilience of these communities.

“Our work in Nigeria during 2021-2022 has demonstrated the profound difference that coordinated efforts and strategic partnerships can make.

“WFP will provide multi-dimensional assistance to fourteen thousand, three hundred and ninety four persons (14,394) in Katsina and Sokoto States using the ECOWAS funds,’’ Adoua said.

According to him, this will include food and nutrition support, building capacity for state systems, psycho-social support to promote social cohesion and peace for a period of six months.

Also speaking, Mr Valentine Ezulu, the Director, Humanitarian Affairs in the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, assured stakeholders of Federal Government`s determination to provide mechanisms to mitigate the impact of flood and its consequences.

Ezulu, while appreciating ECOWAS intervention in Nigeria, said the project helps to improve food insecurity and malnutrition of vulnerable groups in the affected states.

“The 2021 phase one beneficiaries of the ECOWAS Food and Nutrition Support were Borno, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto States.

“While at this juncture, the ministry appreciates ECOWAS for commencing the phase two of the project in Katsina and Sokoto States as indicated by the ministry based on the malnutrition experienced in the states,’’ he said

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