Food insecurity to affect 9million people in 16 states- FAO
ABUJA- THE Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, has raised alarm that food insecurity will affect 9 million people in 16 northern states in Nigeria.
This was contained in United Nation Food and Agriculture Cadre Harmonisé report, which stated that the food insecurity will last between the period of March-August 2017.
According to the report the 16 states include Bauchi, Yobe, Kastina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Gombe, Bauchi, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Niger, Taraba, Zamfara, Benue, and Jigawa.
The report explained 7 million people, representing seven per cent of the population in the 16 states would be food insecure between March-May while 9million people would be affected between June-August.
The report admitted that though the level of food insecurity has largely improved since last Cadre Harmonisé analysis in the country, however, food insecurity is still alarming in Northern Nigeria and humanitarian assistance needs to be escalated in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States to save lives and protect the livelihoods as well as reduce consumption deficit of the worst affected populations.
It further stressed the need to scale up humanitarian assistance to other 13 states Crisis levels of food insecurity (Cadre Harmonisé phase 3) are also persisiting.
The report pointed out that Food insecurity is expected to deteriorate from July to August 2017 due to the lean season and the number of people facing food crisis would increase in all the sixteen states as well as the populations in emergency and famine (CH Phase 4-5) in the three most affected states
The report attributed the food insecurity in the country to the consequences of conflict in the North-eastern states, which have led to an increased IDPs influx and movement, as well as disruption of market supply and infrastructures compounded with high food prices caused by currency inflation which have significantly limited the populations' access to food.
The FAO Officer in Charge, Patrick David, who spoke during the presentation of the report in Abuja stressed that assisting the most vulnerable people and increasing households' resilience to food security threats will contribute to saving many lives.
He noted that the report was conducted to support the Nigerian government and provide strong recommendations to address food insecurity problem in the country.
He said "its very important to know who are these people, where they are and what they need, the Cadre Harmonise would be very helpful to make strong recommendations to decision makers to know how much food, livelihood support that needs to be provided for them."
The Deputy Country Director, World Food Program, Douglas Mercado, noted that WFP disclosed that the Cadre Harmonise would provide the basis for them to work with, identifying the hard affected states aside Borno and Yobe, so that as to scale up assistance to the states.