FAO: 4m Nigerians face acute food insecurity

ENE OKWANIHE, ABUJA

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Out of the sixteen states, seven are from the North-central states, six from North-eastern states while the remaining four are from the North-western states.

These revelations were made public at the annual official presentation of the October – December 2019 cadre harmonize analysis of food and nutrition insecurity results in sixteen states of Northern Nigeria and the FCT, held in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The acute food insecurity analysis in Nigeria began in 2016 with eight states and now increased to sixteen states in Northern Nigeria, conducted by about ten partner organizations and eight international donors in collaboration with the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development.

The analyst Led by Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, FAO, and Permanent Interstates Committee for Draught Control in the Sahel, CILSS, the acute food insecurity analysis was done with the aim of identifying states that are in malnourished and in food crisis zones in order to acquire humanitarian interventions.

The food insecurity report identified Yobe state tops in the, malnutrition prevalence with 11.5 %, Borno states second with 8.1% and Adamawa states third with 7.2% all in the North-east Nigeria.

Although, the acute food insecurity analysis report classified 15 states to be under minimal phase of food consumption, it projected the situation to remain the same in some states of the North-east till the year 2020.

The report identified conflicts and insecurity, flooding and disease outbreaks as key drivers to the acute food insecurity and malnutrition.

FAO Country Director Suffyan Koroma during the presentation observed that there has been significant improvement in the food security situation in the country, adding that from August 2017 to August 2019, the number of persons facing severe food insecurity in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa had dropped from 5.2 million to 2.9 million.

“The improvement has largely been due to the efforts of government and massive intervention of the humanitarian communities, without which the situation would have worsen,”

​He explained that the Cadre Harmonisѐ (CH) has been a regional framework for consensual analysis of acute food insecurity situations across the West Africa countries.

Mr. Koroma said the FAO would continue to work with her partners in the provision of livelihood assistance to the vulnerable group identified through this process.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development who was represented the Permanent Secretary Dr. Muhammed Umar expressed gratitude for the results that will help the government in fine tuning the strategy to fight hunger and malnutrition in the country

Dr. Umar also expressed hope that the outcome from the current analysis would provide information on the prevailing acute food and nutrition security going from the last CH analysis released in March 2019 and the updated outcome for the Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe state in June 2019.

He said CH analsis has been adopted as the most acceptable and informative tool used for classifying states into the five phases of food nutrition and insecurity, including estimated population affected by acute food nutrition and insecurity challenges across the 17 participating northern states and the FCT.

Speaking on behalf of the eight international donors, acting team leader, United States Agency for International Development, USAID, Mr. Emily Gish advocated for more collaborations in fighting food insecurity in Nigeria.

It is expected that the participants who are Permanent Secretaries from the affected 16 states will go back home to study and work on the acute food insecurity analysis for the betterment of the people.