….may increase to 5.2 million in August 2018
By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA- THE Cadre Harmonise, CH, report for March 2018, conducted in 16 States of the federation and Federal Capital Territory, FCT, has indicated that over 3.7 million Nigerians are currently faced with food insecurity.
This was made known by the food and nutrition insecurity situation analysis conducted by the World Food Programme, WFP, Food and Agricultural Organisation, FAO, United States Aid for International Development, USAID, Mercy Corps, Famine Early Warning System Network, Save the Children, Oxfam, Care, and others, presented Thursday, in Abuja.
The agenda was ‘Stakeholders’ Meeting for Presentation of the Results of the March 2018 Cadre Harmonise Analysis of Food and Nutrition Insecurity in Nigeria’.
It also projected that the number of people caught in the food crisis could increase to 5.2 million people during the lean period of June-August 2018.
The survey was conducted in Bauchi, Benue,Borno, Plateau, Jigawa, Adamawa, Yobe, Kaduna, Kano, Taraba, Sokoto, Kaduna, Kebbi, Zamfara, Niger Gombe States and the FCT.
The report reads in part: “A total of 3.5 million people are currently in food crisis in Nigeria, while 999,959 people are in emergency situation in need of urgent assistance.
“The Cadre Harmonise, CH, Report, for March 2018 conducted in 16 States of the federation, and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, by the World Food Programme, WFP, Food and Agricultural Organization, FAO, United States Aid for International Development, USAID, Mercy Corps, Famine Early Warning System Network, Save the Children, Oxfam, Care and others shows that the figure may increase to 5.2 million people during the lean period of June-August 2018.
“The survey was conducted in 16 States of Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Plateau, Jigawa, Adamawa, Yobe, Kaduna, Kano, Taraba, Sokoto, Kaduna, Kebbi, Zamfara, Niger Gombe, and the FCT.
“Borno State has the largest number of people that are facing food crisis with over 1.2 million people, while 186,608 people are in urgent need of assistance.”
The report however, expressed worry and called for urgent steps to be taken to ensure food security by relevant authorities if not the number of people facing food crisis may rise to 1.3 million, while those in emergency situation would increase to 203,022.
The CH also revealed that the survey could not be conducted in the rest states due to lack of funds and the inability to reach some areas in the North East region, which was purely as a result of insecurity.
Also speaking was the FAO Country Representative to Nigeria, Sufyan Koroma, who emphasized that the Federal and State governments are to take ownership of the Cadre Harmonise, CH, process, because international donors may withdraw financial support by 2019.
Koroma said for data availability for CH analysis it was necessary for funds to be adequately made available in order to conduct emergency food and nutrition security assessment, particularly at the state and local government levels.
He also called for expansion of the CH coverage to all the states of the federation for global view of food and nutrition insecurity situation in the country.
In his opening address, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Bukar Hassan, said the CH analysis would assist government in decision making in various interventions and programmes initiated to boost food security.
Hassan also acknowledged the need for such data that would help policy makers understand the prevalence of food insecurity across the country, hence the information generated from the CH analysis becomes important at this point.
He assured stakeholders that government would continue to do everything humanly possible to improve on nutrition, household food security and livelihood to promote economic development in the country.