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WFP targets feeding 7.3m people in Nigeria, 7 African countries

By George George Idowu and Faridat Salifu

Following the effect of food crisis across African continent, the World Food Programme (WFP) has announced plans to expand its food and nutrition assistance program across several countries in West and Central Africa from June to August.

This initiative aims to reach 7.3 million people during the critical June-August lean season, a period marked by high hunger levels and limited food resources.

The targeted countries include Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. WFP’s efforts are designed to support national governments’ response plans in these regions.

In a statement made available to media organisations, WFP noted that with adequate funding, the program could potentially assist up to 12 million people.

However, the organization said that due to diminishing resources, the current reach is less than anticipated. This shortfall comes at a time when malnutrition is soaring in West and Central Africa, with projections indicating that 55 million people may face acute hunger during the lean season.

WFP’s Regional Director for Western Africa, Chris Nikoi, emphasized the urgent need for “transformative solutions” to aid vulnerable families with food and other essential needs.

He said: “We need to continue prioritising emergency response for those most in need. But, we need more investment in sustainable solutions to help strengthen food security, improve agricultural productivity, and purchasing power of families.”

According to Nikoi, the funding gaps are particularly concerning given the 2024 seasonal forecast, which predicts weather patterns that could disrupt farming and prolong the next lean season.

Nikoi warned that the increasing humanitarian needs are vastly outpacing the available resources, underscoring the necessity of prioritizing durable solutions.

The WFP is currently supporting long-term hunger solutions and enhancing government systems to boost communities’ resilience through social protection and investments in inclusive food systems.

These efforts include restoring degraded lands, supporting children’s education, improving food access and income levels across the Sahel, and providing more frequent and diversified meals in Nigerian villages.

The body stressed the importance of strengthening poor families’ purchasing power through timely, shock-responsive social protection schemes, as humanitarian aid alone is financially unsustainable and fails to address the root causes of hunger and malnutrition.



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