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ECHO, FAO support 140,000 vulnerable farmers in Northeast

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Country Representative, Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) in Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Fred Kafeero, has said 140,000 vulnerable persons will be provided with livelihood support in the Northeast.

According to him, the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operation (ECHO) has raised $1million (N410 million) support for FAO.

Kafeero, in a statement in Maiduguri yesterday, disclosed that “The million-dollar support was to enhance food production,” and mitigate risks among households impacted by COVID-19 pandemic and armed conflicts in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.

“ECHO has mobilised over a million U.S dollars for FAO to protect the livelihoods of 140,000 vulnerable persons in the region,” he said.

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He noted that the funding was the latest of ECHO’s support to restore livelihoods and build resilience in the war-torn region.

He said: “Through the funding, FAO will further strengthen the essential functioning of food security in the insurgency-affected states.

“We coordinate the provision of food and livelihood assistance to millions of affected households in the region.”

He said that the recent funding would also support the restoration of agricultural livelihood and improvement of protection of women and men through the provision of quality and improved agricultural inputs.

The inputs, according to him, would also enhance food production during the 2021 rainy and dry seasons.

“This will be combined with the provision of extension services through the establishment of farmer field schools,” he added.

He said under ECHO’s funding, FAO would increase the capacity for production and provision of environment-friendly fuel-efficient stoves (FES) for women.

The availability of stoves is expected to reduce the women’s exposure to protection risks which are associated with frequent foray into insurgents-infested forests for firewood.

He added that households that use fuel-efficient stoves reduce their trips to the forest by 50 per cent to fetch firewood with 50 per cent reduction costs.

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