Nigeria is to receive a total of $6 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for a new Consumer Food Safety Evidence and Learning Platform, known as Evidence and Action Toward Safe, Nutritious Food (EatSafe).
A statement form the U.S. Mission in Abuja on Thursday said that the initiative will support Nigeria in improving food security, safety, nutrition, and resilience, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nigeria, in receiving the $6 million is part of the funding for five countries to benefit from a five year, $31.5 million Cooperative Agreement awarded to the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), an independent non-profit foundation, which has been operating in Nigeria since 2012.
Implementation will begin in Kebbi State, which has the highest incidence of malnutrition in the country. The Kebbi portion of the activity is funded at $3.5 million.
“USAID recognizes that food safety is crucial for improving nutrition for a healthy, productive, and resilient Nigeria,” Colin Dreizin, the Director of USAID’s Office of Economic Growth and Environment, said at the launch.
“EatSafe will explore innovative ways to engage stakeholders, including the private sector, to improve food safety and nutrition security. Ensuring safe and nutritious food for all is one of the key public health and social challenges of our time.”
EatSafe will build off GAIN’s established relationships with informal Nigerian markets selling nutritious foods to strengthen the voice of vendors and consumers in the pandemic response and recovery.
A series of rapid assessments of market resilience will help ensure Kebbi can adapt to pandemic shocks and ensure the availability of safe and nutritious foods to its people.
In accord with the U.S. Global Food Security Strategy for Nigeria’s objective of a well-nourished population, especially among women and children; EatSafe will help foster a healthier population in Nigeria and help guarantee safe and nutritious foods for their families.