The Norwegian Government has committed an additional $4.5 million in support of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation’s humanitarian activities in addressing the lingering crisis in the northeastern part of Nigeria.
The FAO Representative in Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States, Fred Kafeero, stated during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding ceremony between the UN body and the Norwegian government in Abuja.
Kafeero said the support from the government of Norway has amounted to $24 million, since the beginning of the crisis and it has reached over 1,198,077 conflict-affected people at present and still counting.
According to him, since 2017, the government of Norway, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been generously contributing to rebuilding the lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable communities in North-East Nigeria that are affected by the now over-a-decade-long conflict.
For the 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan, Kafeero noted that FAO, being a key provider of livelihood support in the food security sector, has set a target of reaching two million people.
He said that currently, only 56,000 individuals have been reached.
“Moreover, an analysis of the funding trends reveals that only 3.4 out of 100 units of total funding allocated to the food security sector are directed towards livelihood interventions.
“The addendum for a complementary fund for 2023 is deemed more than important, not only because it marks the continuous and fruitful collaboration, and partnership that exists between the Government of Norway and FAO in Nigeria but because it will contribute to filling the livelihoods funding gap for the 2023 lean season.
“While the funding is contributing towards improving food security in the North-East, the gap is still huge in meeting the needs of 3.7 million people who need livelihood assistance.”
The Ambassador of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Nigeria, Knut Eiliv Lein, said the $4.5 million additional funding commitment made by the government was aimed at supporting agriculture and people impacted by the conflict.
“We had a three-year programme with the FAO that we renewed another three years last year and we increased funding to four and half million dollars”, Lein said.
The funding support is targeted at implementing an existing project aimed at scaling-up food security, nutrition and sustainable livelihoods in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe and Taraba.