By Michael Olugbode
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced an additional $168.5 million in development assistance to Nigeria.
The latest assistance brings the total U.S. assistance to the Nigerian people to $2.16 billion under the five-year Development Objectives Assistance Agreement (DOAG) signed between USAID and the Ministry of Finance.
A statement from USAID on Monday said the agency recently announced notification of an additional $168.5 million in development assistance to continue support for the goals outlined in a 2015 bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Nigerian governments.
The statement said with this funding, the total U.S. assistance to the Nigerian people has been increased to $2.16 billion under the five-year DOAG signed between USAID and the Ministry of Finance.
USAID Acting Mission Director, Katie Donohoe, said: “With this notification, the United States deepens its commitment to Nigeria in meeting its development challenges. We will continue to support improved health, nutrition, economic growth, good governance, and human rights.”
The statement disclosed that in most of the new funding, more than $115 million, will finance new and existing activities to improve public health in Nigeria, including $40 million for maternal and child health, $28 million to control malaria, as well as significant boosts in family planning, tuberculosis control, nutrition and pandemic relief.
It revealed that another $32 million will be for economic growth, including $19 million to help Nigeria increase agricultural productivity and access to nutritious foods, $10.5 million for cleaner water, and $2 million to facilitate trade and investment.
It added that an additional $15.5 million in basic education funds will expand states’ abilities to provide early grade reading programmes and alternative education opportunities for out-of-school children and youth, while addressing the marginalization and educational needs of Nigeria’s hearing-impaired community.
It equally said $6 million will go towards new activities to strengthen human rights, civil society organisations, political competition, consensus building and reducing trafficking in persons.