Faced with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which is exacerbating humanitarian
challenges in Nigeria, the ECOWAS Commission has expressed, this Saturday August 22,
2020, the region’s solidarity to the Government and People of Nigeria.
This regional solidarity has been demonstrated through two food donations of a total
quantity of 3,999 tons of cereals comprising of millet and sorghum.
The first donation consists of 1,196 tons of cereals, was financed by the Humanitarian Emergencies Fund of
the ECOWAS Commission. The second donation was of 2,803 tons of cereals, was funded
by the Regional Food Security Storage Support Project, which the European Union (EU) is
financing for a total amount of €56 million. The donations are meant to support the most
vulnerable populations and households.
Giving a remark on behalf of the President of the ECOWAS Commission H.E Jean- Claude
Kassi Brou during the event which took place at the Grains Depot, Hotoro, Kano, Nigeria,
the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Water Resources and
Environment, Mr. Sekou Sangare, reiterated the solidarity of the ECOWAS Commission
and that of the other Institutions of the Community to all suffering and demised citizens
resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic.
Extolling Nigeria’s regional leadership at the time of the pandemic and its enduring
partnership with ECOWAS for a more integrated West Africa, Commissioner Sangare said:
“saving human lives also means giving food to people affected not only by the
Coronavirus, but also providing food for our brothers and sisters, our parents affected by
terrorism and banditry, violent conflicts and climate change as most of the women and
children have been forced to flee their villages to settle further very often in extreme
Saluting the Management of the Federal Strategic Reserve of Nigeria, for its cooperation
and professionalism, Commissioner Sangare thanked
the technical and financial partners including the French Development Agency (AfD), the
Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AECID) and the United
States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the quality of assistance
provided recurrently to ECOWAS and for their regular and diversified support towards the
operationalization of the Regional Food Security Reserve as well as the resilience and
humanitarian action programs.
Also speaking at the event, Nigeria’s Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster
Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadia Umar Farouq while thanking the
ECOWAS Commission for its timely interventions in the distribution of humanitarian and relief materials, disclosed strategies put in place to realise the vision of lifting 100 million
Nigerians out of poverty within the next ten years.
Similarly, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Mr. Zubairu Dada maintained that the
donation demonstrates the responsibility of ECOWAS in the sustenance of the
Community’s regional socio-economic agenda, stressing that Nigeria appreciates the
solidarity displayed and would continue to work in support of the ECOWAS’ regional
On his part, the Minister of State His Agriculture and Rural Development Alhaji Mustapha
Baba Shehuri stated that the donations will be adequately distributed while giving the
assurance that the stock to be handed on would be replenished in due course.
The Representatives of the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations
(FAO) and the French Ambassador to Nigeria Dr. Abubakar Suleiman and Mr. Stephen
Malaussene respectively pledged continuous support for Nigeria’s food security needs
while maintaining consistent collaboration with ECOWAS.
The governor of Kano State Alhaji Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who was represented by the
Commissioner for Higher Education Dr. Mariya Mahmud Bunkure, espoused the strides of
the state government in the war against Covid-19 by evolving preventive, curative and
palliative strategies. She expressed the gratitude of the people of Kano State for the
assistance received from ECOWAS.
A sustainability Memorandum of Understanding was signed between ECOWAS and the
government of Nigeria after the handover of the donated items at the instance of Nigeria’s
Ambassador to ECOWAS, Amb Musa Nuhu, among other dignitaries.
The donated grains were taken from the stocks in the ECOWAS Regional Food Security
Reserve, partly warehoused with the Food Strategic Reserve Department (FSRD) and will
be distributed free of charge to the households mostly affected by the humanitarian
situation in the country; Also helping them to cope with the multiple crises while
safeguarding their livelihoods.
The donations complement the multidimensional support that ECOWAS has provided to
Nigeria since the advent of COVID -19 in the country on February 27, 2020. They are also
directed at the most vulnerable populations living in Burkina Faso, the Republic of Niger,
the Republic of Mali and (mostly in the north of) the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The ECOWAS Humanitarian Policy aims to prevent, mitigate, and provide durable
solutions to the complex emergencies and its effects, including natural and man-made
disasters in the region. It complements the ECOWAS Disaster Risk Reduction Policy
which focuses on disaster risk reduction through the design of interventions aimed at
reducing risks as an obstacle to development.
The ECOWAS Commission has also been supporting the region through its Humanitarian
Emergency Fund and the financial support of the EU, within the framework of the Regional
Food Security Storage Support Project.
Established on February 28, 2013 in Yamoussoukro, Côte d'Ivoire, by ECOWAS Heads of
State and Government, the Regional Food Security Reserve aims, to complement the
efforts of Member States to provide diversified rapid food and nutritional assistance.