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Ukraine’s Govt donates grains to Nigeria Amidst Food shortage




By Stephen Asaba-ase

The Government of Ukraine has donated 25,000 tonnes of wheat as emergency food aide to 1.3 million vulnerable, crisis-affected people in northeast Nigeria amidst the increasing inflation and food price spikes in the country.

This is contained in a statement issued by Atinuke Akande-Alegbe, Senior Communications and Public Diplomacy Officer, British High Commission’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, made available to Congress news on Friday.

Akande-Alegbe said that the donation was made under the sponsorship of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) response to the northeast Nigeria.

She noted that the contribution was part of Ukraine’s humanitarian “Grain from Ukraine” idea launched by the country’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky.

Akande-Alegbe also disclosed that the shipment was done through a conjoin effort from the UK, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Luxembourg, Norway, Republic of Korea and Sweden, who imported it from Ukraine to Nigeria.

According to the High Commission’s spokesman, the grains intervention was because of the sky-roketting prices of staple foods in Nigeria, which had made basic meals out of the reach of many families across the country.

“This is truely a trying time for many people across the world, including in Nigeria, it is inevitably important that we reach out to the most vulnerable populations.

“The UK is happy to be part of the global community supporting WFP to impact a life saving grain across Nigeria, reaching over 600,000 people.

“The continuous crisis in the northeastern part of Nigeria have driven millions of people out of their homes, off their farms and across the region, damaging agriculture and livelihoods production,” Cynthia Rowe, British High Commission Development Director, affirmed.

Rowe also noted that over the past three months, unlike in previous years, prices of basic staples across markets in Nigeria, risen above pre-harvest levels there by hindering food access to the vulnerable families who depended on harvest and markets for their supplies.

“In Maiduguri, for instance, the wholesale prices of red beans have raised above 210 percent compared to the same period last year (February 2023). Similarly, prices of maize and sorghum increased by 176 percent and 188 percent respectively.

“The country is seriously battling with its fourth consecutive year of chronic food shortage with 26.5 million people across the country projected to face acute hunger during the 2024 lean season between June and August according to the November 2023 Cadre Harmonize food security analysis.

“WFP is committed to working with the government and partners to build more resilient, inclusive, and effective food systems taking advantage of its current footprint in the country,” Rowe further said.

However, David Stevenson,WFP representative and country director in Nigeria, said we extend our heartfelt thanks to the Government of Ukraine, partners, and donors for their unwavering support through the Grain from Ukraine Initiative. This conjoin effort plays a key role in alleviating suffering and sustaining human dignity in areas faced in food insecurity.

“WFP has the implements and willingness to support the government in restoring and unleashing the agricultural potential in northeast Nigeria making it again the bread basket of the country. But we cannot achieve this alone”.

“To ensure continued food and nutrition assistance to crisis-affected people in northeast and northwest Nigeria, WFP urgently requires US$154 million for the next six months (March-August 2024),” he stressed.

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