Over four million Nigerians are currently facing acute hunger, according to a food security report released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP).
FAO’s Country Director, Suffyan Koroma, who revealed this on Tuesday in Abuja, at the presentation of the October 2019 Cadre Hamornized Analysis’ outcome for 16 states and the FCT, said that if necessary steps aren’t taken, 5.94 million Nigerians would be in food crisis between June and August 2020.
According to Koroma, “The Cadre Harmonized Analysis of acute food insecurity situations, carried out in 17 northern states, indicated that over four million Nigerians would be in the food crisis phase or worse off between October and December.”
He said the states included; Jigawa, Kano, Kastina, Kaduna, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Gombe, Niger, Kebbi, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara, Adamawa, Plateau, Sokoto and the FCT.
While noting that there has been an improvement in Nigeria’s food insecurity situation, Koroma maintained that food insecurity in the Boko Haram ravaged states had reduced significantly, due to the assistance of government and humanitarian communities.
The FAO Country Director said, “The report, which noted that food consumption rate is at minimal phase in 15 out 16 states and the FCT, raised concern over the high prevalence of acute malnutrition in Adamawa, 7.2 %; Borno, 8.1 %; Yobe, 11.5 %, with central Yobe currently having the highest rate of malnutrition at 13.9 %.
“It further revealed that mortality rate is under pressure in the three states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa, while both Northern Borno and Northern Yobe have under-five mortality that is in crisis.”
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Umar stated that ensuring food security is the basic objective of the present administration.
He said, “The ministry is hopeful that the information articulated from this cycle will remain relevant informing government and stakeholders’ decisions, particularly on the factors driving acute food and nutrition insecurity during the projected period.
“We are equally hopeful that possible recommendations will be provided to ameliorate the identified challenges.”