The U.S. Agency for International Development has awarded almost USD5 million worth of grant to Mercy Corps to provide 130,000 beneficiaries in Niger with locally purchased food and vouchers.
The grant was the first award under the Emergency Food Security Program, a new initiative managed by USAID’s Office of Food for Peace.
The funding will back local or regional procurement of food commodities using cash or vouchers, thus complementing the traditional form of in-kind food donation, which usually does not reach recipients fast enough during emergencies, according to USAID.
Niger has been severely affected by drought. Its latest harvest only meets less than one-fourth of the country’s annual food requirements.