World Cup 2014: Fighting Hunger in Nigeria
Bread for the World's World Cup series will use the occasion of the Cup to focus on the great advances many of the participating countries and players have made in fighting hunger and poverty. Each day, until the end of the tournament, we will highlight a country, or an individual player, that is making a difference.
By Bianca Brown
Wednesday, June 25: Nigeria v. Argentina
As the World Cup matches draw closer to the finals, the first matchup today, between Nigeria and Argentina, is a highly anticipated one. Between the prowess of goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, a team veteran of Nigeria, and that of famed Argentine high-scorer Lionel Messi, the game promises to be very compelling.
Enyeama has been called Nigeria’s best goalkeeper ever. He recently told BBC Sport that being able to represent Nigeria at the World Cup is “a great honour and I deeply appreciate it. I must first give glory to God, my team-mates, family and our beautiful fans for their remarkable support.” Just as exciting as watching Nigeria’s soccer team succeed is watching the country make progress against extreme hunger and poverty.
Nigeria is the eighth largest country in the world, measuring by population; but recent studies reveal that 61 percent of Nigerian households live in poverty. Since 2012, 7.5 percent of the $262.6 billion budget the country’s government officials can access has gone toward fulfilling the country’s MDG targets, as well as Nigeria’s poverty-reduction goals. Initiatives to end hunger and create “a better Africa” have begun in Nigeria, and they focus on agricultural development. By allowing more tangible access to credit and land, participation opportunities in decision making, as well as access to agricultural extension services, the Nigerian government is prompting its citizens to get more involved in work to create a more food stable environment.
Bianca Brown is an intern in Bread for the World's communications department and a senior at Georgia's Wesleyan College.
Photo: Vincent Enyeama, kicking a penalty shot. (Wikimedia Commons)
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