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Gates Foundation Donates $1 Million For Borno Food Security Programme

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Governor Kashim Shettima flagged off the exercise
Governor Kashim Shettima flagged off the exercise

The Borno State Government Has Flagged Off A Food Distribution Programme Courtesy Of The Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation Which Recently Made A Cash Donation Of $1 Million To The State.

The flag-off ceremony was held today at Mainok village, one of the liberated communities, not very far from Maiduguri, the Borno State Capital.

Governor Kashim Shettima at the ceremony said the intervention by the Gates Foundation is a testimony that peace is gradually returning to the state, adding that the programme would involve direct distribution of food items, as well as funding farming activities for farmers.

The governor said : “It is the state government that is carrying out procurements in the implementation of this particular intervention, which is targeting returning and resettling communities by giving them food aid and also helping them return to their family ways of producing food themselves and commercial purposes.

“The intervention from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is being used for food supplies and to fund farming activities for households.”

Shettima said the donation was the first cash donation received by the state government since the floodgates of donations opened in the state.

Hundreds of people gathered at a primary school compound in the village where the food items were distributed.

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Also speaking at the ceremony, Babagana Umara, the state commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, said that the ministry has acquired 100 hectares of land where beans will be planted.

“Half hectare of land is being allocated to a farm-family with a target of reaching 200 households,” he said.

He said the farms are located in Damboa and Konduga Local government areas and each household will be provided with fertilizer, improved seeds and a support service of farm extension officer.

Each beneficiary of the direct food distribution are expected to get a 25 kilogram bag of rice and a 10 kilograms bag of beans and the about 40,000 insurgency victims are expected to benefit from the intervention.

Head of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, in Maiduguri, Cesar Tshilombo, commended the state government for its passion in making life better for the people affected by terrorism in the state.

“I have been in the humanitarian services for over 22 years and I have visited 42 African countries, but it is the first time I have seen Africans taking care of their own population by dealing with the crisis like the way I have seen in Borno,” he said.

He also praised the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for making the project a reality.

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