By Michael Olugbode
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced an additional $168.5 million as development assistance to Nigeria.
The latest assistance brings the total of US 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 yesterday said the agency recently announced the notification of an additional $168.5 million as development assistance to continue the support for the goals outlined in a 2015 bilateral agreement between the US and Nigerian Governments.
The statement said with this funding, the total US assistance to the Nigerian people has been increased to $2.16 billion under the five-year DOAG signed between the USAID and the Ministry of Finance.
USAID acting Mission Director, Katie Donohoe, said: “With this notification, the United States has deepened its commitment to Nigeria in meeting its development challenges,” promising that: “We will continue to support improved health, nutrition, economic growth, good governance, and human rights.”
It disclosed further that most of the new funding, more than $115 million, would 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 would be for economic growth, including $19 million to help Nigeria increase agricultural productivity and access to nutritious foods; $10.5 million for clean water, and $2 million to facilitate trade and investment.
The statement added that an additional $15.5 million in basic education funds would expand states abilities to provide early grade reading programmes and alternative education opportunities for out-of-school children and youths while also addressing the marginalisation and educational needs of Nigeria’s hearing-impaired community.
The US agency equally said $6 million would go to new activities to strengthen human rights, civil society organisations, political competition and consensus building, as well as reduction in trafficking in persons