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Nigeria: Food and Nutrition Insecurity becomes severe

Street market crowd at Lagos Island's commercial district.

Statistics given by The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), say that about 14.4 million Nigerians face food and nutrition insecurity.

A breakdown of the statistics shows that 385,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), in 21 states and the federal capital territory (FCT) are affected by food and nutrition insecurity.

Food Security Analyst, FAO, Jasper Mwesigwa, disclosed this in Abuja at the presentation of the Cadre Harmonisé report for Nigeria.

It is also predicted by FAO that a minimum of 19.4 million Nigerians may face severe food and nutrition insecurity between June and August this year.

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

He assured that “the results of Cadre Harmonisé analysis provide reliable early warning information to decision-makers, to inform emergency preparedness response for medium and long term policy and programming.”

The Cadre Harmonisé (CH), is the current framework for consensual analysis of acute food and nutrition insecurity situations in ECOWAS and Sahelian Regional.

Factors that contribute to food and nutrition insecurity majorly in the North-East are insecurity issues that include unemployment and reduction in household income, rising prices of commodities, among others.

The Permanent Secretary, Nigerian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ernest Umakhihe, noted that the March 2022 CH analysis result was timely as it came at a time of economic hardship.

Represented by Director, Project Coordinating Unit, Ubadoma Ularamu, he decried the security challenges in the country that had continued to threaten food and nutrition security.

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

He assured that the government was committed 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. I call on all participants to contribute positively and objectively to the issues emanating from the results, to enhance its quality and acceptability by the wide spectrum of stakeholders”, said Umakhihe.