NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA General News 21,000 flood victims to benefit from ECOWAS humanitarian aid – Red Cross

21,000 flood victims to benefit from ECOWAS humanitarian aid – Red Cross

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By Ahmed Ubandoma

The Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) has announced that over 21,000 individuals will benefit from ECOWAS stabilisation funds for victims of flood disasters in six of the most affected states.

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

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the meeting, themed “Building Stronger and Resilient Families in Nigeria,” was organised in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

During the meeting, ECOWAS presented a cheque for $906,200 to the Red Cross to aid in the effective implementation of its stabilisation programme.

Kende, represented by NRCS Director of Disaster Management Mr Benson Agbo, stated that the stabilisation funds would be used to support flood victims.

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

“This agreement aims to support communities affected by flood disasters in Adamawa, Anambra, Oyo, Kebbi, Kogi, and Rivers states.

”We are ready to deliver essential humanitarian aid to 21,000 individuals in 3,500 households across these six severely affected states. This gesture will ensure that flood survivors can return to their normal lives,” he said.

Kende appealed to stakeholders to provide the necessary support to boost the socio-economic well-being of the victims.

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

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

Mr Guy Adoua, Deputy Country Director of WFP in Nigeria, stated that the programme had built an enduring structure critical to delivering food and nutrition to vulnerable people.

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

“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 14,394 people in Katsina and Sokoto states using the ECOWAS funds,” Adoua said.

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

Prof. Fatou Sarr, ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs, stated that ECOWAS would continue to support member states in improving the livelihoods of their citizens.

“Our focus will continue to be people-centered; therefore, projects such as this will remain the focus of ECOWAS programming. We invite you all to join us in changing the lives and livelihoods of our people for good, especially those at the grassroots,” Sarr said.

She also presented a cheque for $1 million to WFP to ensure the effective implementation of the ECOWAS stabilisation programme, providing food and nutrition especially to victims of violence in Nigeria.

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Mr Valentine Ezulu, Director of Humanitarian Affairs in the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, assured stakeholders of the federal government’s determination to provide mechanisms to mitigate the impact of floods and their consequences.

He appreciated ECOWAS’ intervention in Nigeria and stated that the project would help improve food security and nutrition for vulnerable groups in the affected states.

He recalled that the 2021 phase one beneficiaries of the ECOWAS Food and Nutrition support were Borno, Katsina, Zamfara, and Sokoto states. (NAN)

Edited by Rotimi Ijikanmi

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