…Distributes milling machines to 5,000 displaced families
By Hassan Zaggi
From January to October this year, the World Food Programme (WFP) has provided food or cash assistance to an average of 11 million people affected by the Boko Haram crisis in North East Nigeria. That is, 1.1 million people benefited from the gesture every month
This is even as the WFP and its partners are currently distributing 766 milling machines to 5,000 displaced families in Northeast Nigeria to ease the problems they face in processing grains.
In a statement made available to The AUTHORITY in Abuja, yesterday, the WFP however, noted that it requires sustained funding to provide emergency food assistance, prevent malnutrition in young children and pregnant or breastfeeding women, support livelihoods and retain the flexibility to respond to further population displacement.
According to the WFP, families in need are receiving the milling machines in 12 communities in selected local government areas of Borno State. The benefiting local governments include Bama, Damboa, Dikwa, Gwoza, Jere, Mafa, Monguno and Konduga.
“Distribution of the machines is focused on the most vulnerable groups in the state, especially women and girls, to reduce the problems they face in manual milling of their food grains.
“The women and girls, who are mostly responsible for food preparation, also receiving training in the management of the machines.
“Many families receiving food from WFP prefer to get milled sorghum or millet instead of the whole grains that take time to grind through traditional methods. Some sell part of their food to access milling services in the camps or host communities. The milling machines will now solve these problems for the families,” the statement said.
Commenting on the development, the WFP Country Director in Nigeria, Myrta Kaulard, said: “We recognized that some families were selling part of the food assistance they received to pay for milling services, or spending so much time and energy to mill the grains using traditional methods.
“With these machines, they will now be able to save time and energy; conserve food, and also generate some money to maintain the machines.”
WFP partners including Christian AID, Danish Refugees Council, CARE, International Medical Corps, INTERSOS, train the recipients of the milling machines on record keeping, financial management and maintenance of machines.
The milling machines initiative was made possible by the generous contributions to WFP’s food assistance activities in northeast Nigeria this year by Canada, European Commission (ECHO), Finland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom (DFID), the United States (USAID), and private donors.