COVID-19: One month after, Nigeria still planning to implement school feeding programme

Sadiya Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development
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Nigeria’s Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq has reiterated that the Federal Government was working with some state governments towards implementing the National Home-grown School Feeding programme even as children stay at home.

Schools have been shut for the past six weeks as part of measures to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. reported in March that the Nigerian government revealed plans to work with state governments to start feeding schoolchildren in their respective homes.

It appears that the plan was still ongoing over a month after.

Speaking on Wednesday at the Presidential Task Force briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja , Umar-Farouq said the government had overhauled the school feeding programme in a way to ensure that schoolchildren were fed at home despite the lockdown.

She said, “We have made progress in the overhauling of the homegrown school feeding programme and sensitisation has already begun in the three frontline states of Ogun, Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory for implementation.

“The overhauling was sequel to a March 29 , 2020 directive by Mr President to identify modalities and continuation of the school feeding programme during the COVID-19 pandemic in the lockdown states as of then.”

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She noted that following the directives, her ministry in the collaboration with state governors worked out modalities for the implementation home feeding programme, adding that the initiative was set to commence.

“The plan has been adopted , with implementation now set to begin. The programme will therefore be carried out based on data provided and structures put in place by participating states with support from partners that include the World Food Programme.”

The minister had explained that the food would be distributed door-to-door, as vouchers would be allocated at specific collection times to avoid overcrowding.

She explained that the vouchers would be redeemed at designated distribution sites within each state.

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