By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna
A US-based Non-Governmental Organisation, When in Need Foundation, has concluded plans to engage about four (4) million people in food security programmes aimed at curbing the effect of hunger in the country.
The President of the foundation, Dr Chetachi Ecton, said residents of Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Imo and Kaduna states will benefit from the project.
She explained that the mission is to rewrite the hunger narrative by engaging millions of people in food security programs.
She added that she is using her own resources and foreign agricultural seeds inputs from organizations and people of goodwill in the United States to help alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians.
“We have donated modern seedlings that will grow stable food to feed millions Nigerians that spread across different communities in the nation,” the said.
Dr Ecton explained that while she respects the global awareness that the developed world and the international community at large have given those affected by the deadly virus, lamented that little attention is paid to millions of people die of hunger every day in Africa and Nigeria.
She also observed, “While the entire world is paying attention to COVID-19, I am strongly appealing to the government here in Nigeria, and the international community at large to pay an undiluted attention to hunger as it is yet to be declared a global state of emergency.”
According to her, “The Foundation and its partners in the United States have express readiness to provide more agricultural inputs that will feed more vulnerable Nigerians through their food sustainable security program.
“The kind of humanitarian aid I am advocating for at this time is not a conflict-driven food donation like the one that the UN gave to Nigeria. For example, in 2018, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) gave a significant contribution of nearly US$100 million from the United States. According to the report, that guaranteed continued life-saving food assistance in northeast Nigeria through early 2018.
“The UN World Food Program did well to guarantee nearly US $ 100 million to the northeast of our beautiful country that was laden with conflict.” She noted that the country is going to be hardly hit because the factors of production have been crippled by the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Ecton appealed to the UN and the rest of the international community to see the need to collaborate with her Foundation and Nigeria’s government to help provide logistis as 4 million people from vulnerable communities would be alleviated through their food security programmes.
“It has not been an easy road to secure farm inputs to feed 4 million people in Nigeria. That’s just a small percentage of the overall population, the partnership from the developed world, private foundations, the International community and the Nigerian government will triple our food input donation per capita and together, we shall cover the rest of the country,” she explained.