The Nigerian Government has flagged off the distribution of food stuff as palliatives to school children in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.
The Minister, of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, flagged off the distribution programme at the June Area Council of the FCT.
She said the programme was to cushion the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic amongst the vulnerable in the society.
“Hunger is a serious by-product of this pandemic crisis, which is why from the onset the Ministry has been evolving strategies to facilitate humanitarian intervention” She said.
According to her, the school feeding programme is a globally accepted means of supporting children with access to nutrient based foods despite disruptions to the traditional channels of school feeding.
“Beginning today in Abuja, this programme will target parents and guardians of children in primary 1 to 3 in public schools participating in the programme.
A total of 3.1 million households are targeted for this intervention.
Lagos and Ogun states are next ports of call before the programme moves to other states of the Federation” she said.
Collaboration with state governments
The Minister also noted that the programme was funded by the Federal Government but implemented by the states.
“The Ministry in consultation and collaboration with the State governments identified the distribution of Take-Home Rations (THR) to the households of the children on the programme as a feasible method of achieving this directive after exploring several options”.
Also speaking at the programme, the Country Director, World Food Programme, Mr Paul Howe, said COVID-19 is a great setback to the global economy which poses a threat to humanity.
He said the World Food Programme was there to provide technical support to the Ministry by ensuring global Zero Hunger.
For his part, the Chairman, June Area Council, Abdullahi Sabi said every child at this level of education needs to be well fed to grow into their potentials.
“This initiative will boost healthy growth and encourage primary school enrollment across the country” he said.
The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development is using the opportunity of this modified program to collect and verify data with the support of CSOs and NGOs such as ActionAid, BudgIT, Tracka, and CMDA.
Source: Voice of Nigeria