The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has donated 3,999 tons of grains to the federal government with a commitment to help more than 7 million people cope with food crises while safeguarding their livelihoods.
While presenting the grains to the Nigerian government in Kano, Sangare Sekou, ECOWAS commissioner for agriculture, water resources and environment, emphasized that the commission was concerned with the upsurge in security and humanitarian crises related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sekou added that the gesture was meant to complement the ECOWAS’s Disaster Risk Reduction Policy and uphold integration and solidarity amongst all member states, especially Nigeria, which is economically viable and occupies one of the most strategic positions in the West African sub-region.
The ECOWAS is made up of 15 member countries located in the Western African region. Collectively, these countries comprise an area of more than 5.1 million square kilometers in addition to cultural and geopolitical ties, they also have shared common economic interests.
Established on February 28, 2013 in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire, by ECOWAS heads of state and governments, the Regional Food Security Reserve aims to supplement the efforts of member states in providing diversified rapid food and nutritional assistance.
Receiving the donation on behalf of the federal government, Sadia Faruq, minister for humanitarian affairs, disasters management and social development thanked the ECOWAS noting that the gesture would further strengthen the commission’s regional integration and solidarity.
The minister revealed that the federal government had distributed 70,000 metric tons of grains to the poorest and most vulnerable households across the country within the last four months, adding that the ECOWAS donation would complement the palliative programs initiated by the government to ease the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.