Dr. Yetunde Adeniji, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on School Feeding, has announced a significant initiative by the Federal Government to feed 100,000 displaced children in Northern Nigeria. This ambitious plan was revealed during a familiarisation tour, where Dr Adeniji’s delegation sought support from key figures, including Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule and the Emir of Borgu Kingdom, Mohammed Dantoro.
The initiative will commence by targeting 5,000 displaced children in its first phase, with aspirations to expand to 50,000 and eventually reach 100,000 children. This was disclosed in a statement issued in Abuja, highlighting the government’s commitment to addressing the needs of displaced children through the school feeding programme.
During the visit, the Emir of Borgu Kingdom expressed his support for the programme initiated by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He emphasized the importance of effective implementation, monitoring, and evaluation to ensure the sustainability of the initiative. The Emir also pointed out the need to overcome challenges and bottlenecks for successful implementation.
Governor Abdullahi Sule, acknowledging the visit as part of the familiarisation tour, expressed his belief in the potential of the programme to bring reforms and positively impact the lives of Almajiri children, taking them off the streets. The delegation also met with the Federal Commissioner of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons, Aliyu Tijani, to discuss collaboration and address school feeding concerns for a diverse group of children, including IDPs, Almajiris, and individuals with disabilities.
The Federal Government’s plan to feed 100,000 displaced children in Northern Nigeria is a commendable and necessary step towards addressing the challenges faced by some of the most vulnerable members of society. This initiative not only aims to provide essential nutrition to displaced children but also represents a broader commitment to social welfare and the well-being of future generations.
The phased approach, starting with 5,000 children and scaling up to 100,000, demonstrates a realistic and strategic method of implementation. It allows for the assessment and refinement of the programme as it expands, ensuring that the needs of these children are met effectively and efficiently.
The involvement of key stakeholders, such as the Emir of Borgu Kingdom and the Governor of Nasarawa State, is crucial for the success of this initiative. Their support and insights can help navigate the complexities of implementing such a large-scale programme, especially in areas affected by displacement and instability.
The inclusion of diverse groups of children, such as IDPs, Almajiris, and those with disabilities, in the school feeding programme is a significant step towards inclusive development. It acknowledges the varied needs of children in different circumstances and strives to provide a level playing field in terms of access to necessities like food and education.
The Federal Government’s school feeding initiative for displaced children is a vital intervention that goes beyond mere sustenance. It is an investment in the health, education, and future of children who have been adversely affected by circumstances beyond their control. The success of this programme could serve as a model for other regions and countries facing similar challenges.
Did You Know?
- Nigeria’s Northern region faces unique challenges, including displacement due to conflict and environmental factors, affecting the lives of thousands of children.
- School feeding programmes have been shown to improve school attendance and academic performance among children, especially in underprivileged communities.
- The concept of Almajiri in Northern Nigeria refers to a system of Islamic education where students often live with their teachers and rely on alms.
- The integration of nutrition programs in schools can play a crucial role in child development, impacting their physical health, cognitive abilities, and overall well-being.
- Collaborative efforts between government bodies and local communities are essential in implementing effective social welfare programmes, especially in areas with diverse needs and challenges.