By Abraham Olatokunbo
The U.S. 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 Development Objectives Assistance Agreement (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,” promising that: “We will continue to support improved health, nutrition, economic growth, good governance, and human rights.”
The statement disclosed that 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 two 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 and consensus building, and reducing trafficking in persons.