19.4m Nigerians face acute food crisis- FAO

No fewer than 19.4 million Nigerians may face acute food and nutrition insecurity between June and August, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said.

Mr Jasper Mwesigwa, Food Security Analyst, FAO, made this known at the Nigeria Cadre Harmonise-Acute Food and Nutrition Insecurity Analysis programme on Friday in Abuja.

Mwesigwa said that currently about 14.4 million Nigerians, including 385,000 IDPs in 21 states and the FCT were facing food crisis presently.

He listed the states as; Yobe, Borno, Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Adamawa, Kano, Bauchi, Enugu, Niger, Kebbi, Zamfara, Jigawa,  Gombe, Benue,  Abia, Cross River, Edo, Lagos, Plateau and Taraba.

Mr Fred Kafeero, FAO Country Representative in Nigeria, said there was need for a holistic approach towards national food systems transformation to achieve the 2030 agenda.

Kafeero urged government to allocate more funds to the Cadre Harmonise Analysis to provide technical support in terms of capacity building.

He also called on all humanitarian and development partners to make use of the results of the Cadre Harmonise Analysis.

The Cadre Harmonise is the tool adopted for use in gauging the food insecurity and nutrition situation of countries in the Sahel where member countries, including Nigeria, applied for the outcome of the analysis to prevent food crisis and identify the areas affected and the populations.

Kafeero said this was necessary to provide the much needed interventions to save lives, sustain livelihoods and build resilience of vulnerable populations.

He also called for the incorporation of the Cadre Harmonise Analysis results in national planning, including the designing and implementation of national food systems transformation action plans.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Ernest Umakhihe, said the March, 2022 Cadre Harmonise Analysis result was apt as it came at a time of economic hardship.

Umakhihe was represented by the Director, Project Coordinating Unit, Mr Ubandoma Ularamu.

He said the security challenges in the country had continued to threaten food and nutrition security.

Umakhihe said those challenges had led to disruptions in food production and distribution systems, resulting in poor consumption patterns among several households.

He gave assurance of government’s commitment to upholding the outcome and recommendations arising from the analysis.

“This is with a view to enhancing the food and nutrition security situation in the concerned states through objective intervention programmes,’’

Umakhihe said.

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