The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has launched an initiative valued at $3 million in three urban locations in Nigeria.

Under the initiative, 200,000 persons will receive food and cash assistance in COVID-19 urban hotspots of Kano, Lagos and Abuja under the “One UN Basket Fund Project” focusing on supporting the vulnerable families affected by the pandemic.

WFP Country Representative Paul Howe stated these during the kick-off of the distribution of food items and cash assistance to 67,000 vulnerable persons in Kano under the initiative.

The project is being funded by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), WFP, Japan and the European Union (EU).

He said the initiative was complemented by the donation of 2,000 metric tonnes of food, valued at $1 million, by the Federal Government through the National Strategic Grain Reserve.

“This is the first time that WFP is expanding its programme in the country to reach people in towns and cities, where millions are threatened with hunger and malnutrition due to the socio-economic fallout from the pandemic,” Howe said.

He said the intervention will be extended to Lagos and Abuja in the coming weeks to support the most vulnerable families.

Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, at the event, hailed the organisation for the support, saying collaboration among world leaders and authorities was the best way to tackle the pandemic and its spiraling consequences.

The governor hailed WFP for its well-designed formula in the house-to-house distribution exercise, saying that the initiative would ensure that the palliative reaches the targetted persons.

Ganduje said over 300,000 households in 484 wards across the 44 local government areas of the state benefited from palliatives shared by his administration.

This, he said, was in addition to the consignment of food items sent by the Federal Government, which had also been distributed to the less-privileged citizens to reduce the hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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