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THE European Union (EU) has said that violence is the major factor responsible for food insecurity in Nigeria.
This is contained in a statement released on Thursday by the EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic concerning the attacks on Damasak in Borno State.
Lenarcic said due to food price increases in Nigeria, there were currently over nine million citizens requiring ‘urgent food assistance.’
The EU Commissioner said the EU was deeply concerned over the recurring violent attacks by non-state armed groups against the people of the town of Damasak.
He lamented that life and security of civilians were in danger while humanitarian premises had been destroyed and humanitarian workers deliberately targeted.
“Because of the recent increase of violence in Northeast Nigeria, hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people will be left without assistance in an area where humanitarian assistance was already struggling to reach all those in need,” the statement read in part.
Condemning the attack, the EU called on all parties to respect International humanitarian laws and to safeguard human rights, saying that the country should allow people caught in violence to move freely to safe places, and facilitate unimpeded passage of humanitarian reliefs for civilians in need.
UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria Edward Kallon, in a statement, said three international aid partners’ facilities were directly targeted and set ablaze in Damask.
He said the UN was concerned about the safety and security of civilians and humanitarian workers in the state.
The Hunger Hotspots’ report released by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) on March 23 had ranked Nigeria among top three countries where acute hunger and food insecurity were set to worsen in the coming months.
According to the report, over 34 million people in various areas in the concerned countries were grappling with emergency levels of acute hunger (IPC4) – meaning they were one step away from starvation.
The Hunger Hotspots report also stated that conflict in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria was a major cause of acute hunger in the country.