THE ONGOING conflict in the North-East and the lingering economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have exposed over 12 million Nigerians to hunger.
This was disclosed in a joint statement by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).The statement was made available to The ICIR.
The statement stated that food security and nutrition analysis, known as the Cadre Harmonise, conducted in 20 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) revealed that over 12 million people are expected to be in food insecurity crisis or worse through December this year.
“The analysis involved 154,008,198 people, out of whom 12,135,318 in the participating 20 states plus the FCT are currently experiencing Crisis and Emergency phases of food insecurity.”
The statement added that the number of people in critical or worse phases of food insecurity may increase to about 16.9 million unless efforts are made to scale up and sustain humanitarian support and other government interventions for livelihood recovery and resilience.
The states analysed in the current Cadre Harmonise include Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross- River, Edo, Enugu, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Lagos, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, and Yobe, and the FCT.
The analysis estimated that 2.4 million people are currently in the crisis phase or worse and need urgent assistance in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, which are the most affected by the prolonged armed conflict.
“These include an estimated 228,707 people in the emergence phase wherein, even with humanitarian aid, at least one out of five households is either facing extreme food deficits, resulting in a very high acute malnutrition or excessive mortality, or an extreme loss of assets relating to livelihoods, causing deficits in food consumption in the short term.”
The statement, however, said the number is projected to increase to 3.5 million at the peak of the 2022 lean season, which is between June and August.
It added that the number of people anticipated to be in the emergency phase may double to 459,847.