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REPORT: Rising Hunger Threatens 31.5 Million Nigerians

REPORT: Rising Hunger Threatens 31.5 Million Nigerians

A recent report released on Friday has sent shockwaves across Nigeria, indicating that an estimated 31.5 million Nigerians could face acute hunger between June and August 2024, during the lean season. This alarming projection spans across 26 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), painting a grim picture of the country’s food security landscape.

According to the report by Cadre Harmonise, a joint initiative by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), and other partners, approximately 83,846 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are expected to bear the brunt of this food insecurity crisis during the specified period.

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Report: Rising Hunger Threatens 31.5 Million Nigerians 7

The situation is forecasted to be particularly dire in the northeastern states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa, with 2.1 million, 1.5 million, and 1.1 million people respectively facing acute hunger. This unsettling revelation underscores the urgent need for comprehensive interventions to address the impending humanitarian crisis.

The latest data represents a significant escalation from the earlier projection of 26.5 million people facing food insecurity, as reported in November 2023. Several factors have contributed to this alarming increase, including ongoing conflicts and insecurity in various regions, fuel scarcity, currency devaluation, rising inflation, and an escalating consumer price index.

The report also highlights the serious nutrition implications for children under the age of 5, particularly in the aforementioned northeastern states and the northwest states of Katsina, Sokoto, and Zamfara. The precarious food situation poses a grave threat to the well-being and development of these vulnerable populations, necessitating urgent action from stakeholders.

Addressing the pressing issue, Dominique Koffy Kouacou, the FAO Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, emphasized the critical nature of the current situation. He stressed the need for heightened commitment from all stakeholders to tackle the challenges at hand effectively. While pledging continued support from the FAO, Kouacou underscored the importance of reliable data in informing decision-making processes and planning interventions.

During the presentation of the report, Temitope Fashedemi, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, expressed optimism about the significant findings. He acknowledged the role of the report in shaping the nation’s approach to food security and reiterated the government’s commitment to addressing the underlying issues contributing to food insecurity.

Fashedemi highlighted environmental factors such as climate change and human factors like displacement due to insecurity as key drivers of the food challenges facing the country. He reaffirmed the ministry’s commitment to incorporating all 36 states into the Cadre Harmonise analysis process and welcomed further collaboration to achieve this objective.

In conclusion, the workshop’s outcomes and recommendations are expected to guide the implementation of food and nutrition security interventions across Nigeria. With millions of lives at stake, urgent and concerted efforts are needed to avert the looming humanitarian crisis and ensure the well-being of all Nigerians.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.
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