By Asma’u Ahmad
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced additional assistance of $65.5 million to achieve the development goals outlined in the bilateral US-Nigerian Development Objectives Assistance Agreement signed in 2015.
The US Embassy made this known in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday. The statement quoted US Mission Director, Stephen Haykin, as pledging his country’s commitment during the announcement, to strengthen human capital and institutions, and enhance health system in Nigeria.
Haykin said that the assistance “brings incremental funding of the agreement with Nigeria to 1.17 billion dollars which represents 48 per cent of the 2.45 billion dollars pledged by USAID under the five-year plan.’’
He said that of the new funding, 59.33 million dollars would support activities under the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
“PEPFAR partners closely with government, the private sector, philanthropies, multilateral institutions, and civil society to assist people living with HIV and their families.
“An additional 4.67 million dollars will go toward a new activity aimed at strengthening the ability of state and local governments in the North-East to deliver essential public services to their constituents.
“Also 1.5 million dollars will be used to help reduce violent conflict and to deter violent extremist groups. “We are pleased to reaffirm our partnership with Nigeria to strengthen human capital and institutions, and to promote the health and opportunities for all Nigerians,” he said.
Haykin noted that USAID collaborated with Nigeria’s Ministries of Budget and National Planning, Health, Agriculture, Power, and Education as well as state-level government counterparts to structure the bilateral assistance agreement, which runs through 2020.