Ms. Ingermarie Vennize, Head of Communications, of World Food Programme (WFP) Nigeria, formally visited NAN where she said $126 million had been spent to provide food in embattled North East.
The amount, she said was in form of food assistance and other forms to 1.2 million persons in 3 North eastern Nigerian states, since 2017.
Vennize in Abuja, identified the states as Taraba, Borno, and Adamawa.
Vennize, however, said that the programme was working toward meeting its target of providing aid for the most food-insecure and vulnerable persons in the Northeast geopolitical zone of Nigeria.
“At the moment, WFP is providing food and cash assistance to more than 1.2 million persons in the region,’’ she said.
She noted that the number of affected people in the Northeast had increased, as more than 20,000 people were now returning from the neighbouring country of Cameroon.
She said that the development had increased the activities of WFP in the affected areas, particularly during the lean season between June and September when the food stock would have been depleted.
Vennize said that as a result of that, WFP urgently required at least 49 million U.S. dollars to enable it to sustain the life-saving support until the end of 2018.
“WFP is able to carry out the exercise by mopping up assistance from the government of countries that are friendly to Nigeria.
“We also provide nutritional supplies to pregnant women to prevent unnecessary maternal and child deaths,’’ she said.
She said that WFP was also providing food assistance to children with ages between six and 23 months as well as malnourished children within the two to five years age bracket.
The WFP official said that pregnant and lactating women also received nutrition assistance as well as cash and food support.
Vennize, however, said that in areas where there were returning Internally Displaced Persons’ livelihood support interventions were implemented to facilitate the returnees’ early recovery and reduce their reliance on food assistance.