• Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Givefood.ng: Supporting vulnerable communities amid COVID-19


COVID-19 poses a threat to food security, especially for Nigeria’s 90 million people who live in extreme poverty and many more who depend on daily wages for survival. To address this challenge, several private sector actors have taken steps to assist vulnerable communities through food programs and disaster relief provision. One of such initiatives in Nigeria is Givefood.ng.

Givefood.ng was formed by a coalition of leading public and private partners committed to providing food to tens of thousands of households. Partners include the Lagos State Government, Babban Gona, Spar, Shoprite, UAC, Golden Penny Foods, Dalberg, FCMB, Facebook, and Trace TV, among others. Babban Gona, the leading partner in this coalition, is building on its food supply chain expertise to ensure that food gets to as many households as possible.

The platform allows individuals to support efforts from the comfort of their homes through its digital platform. Individuals can add food packs to shopping baskets and send these food packs to those in need. The coalition has also partnered with an assurance partner to guarantee that all donated food packs reach vulnerable individuals. Givefood.ng currently supports households in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Port Harcourt and will be expanding to other states. Organizations can join the coalition as volunteers or distribution partners via the platform.

Givefood.ng is a centralized example of actions that have grown across the country. There have been food banks, especially in Lagos such as Feed Ikoyi and the Lekki Food Drive providing meals for vulnerable individuals in Lagos State. Bukata, which means ‘need’ in Hausa, is another initiative aimed at providing food support for vulnerable individuals in Kano State.

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These initiatives exemplify the need for more collaboration between actors to respond to the impact of the pandemic in Nigeria. Religious bodies and private companies have also been sharing food and other disaster relief materials to those in need. These private and social sector efforts are however not enough to reach all affected households. The government will need to expand its food programs to care for those left out. Furthermore, to ensure that efforts do not address the end result alone, there must be a focus on securing food supply chains for Nigeria’s next farming season. We must ensure that important farming inputs such as seeds and fertilizer get to farmers in remote areas, even with international supply chain disruptions.