As over 383, 000 Nigerians in emergency

FG assures upholding recommendations

By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja

The Cadre Harmonise, CH, results released, Friday, for first quarter of the year 2022 for 21 States and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, indicated that 14 million Nigerians are in critical situation of food and nutrition insecurity.

The CH is a compilation of the food security analysis by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, and was presented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, at the ‘Results Presentation Workshop of March, 2022 Cadre Harmonise (CH), Food and Nutrition Insecurity Analysis for Nigeria’ and supported by other partners.

Umakhihe described the CH results as apt, and noted that insecurity has also contributed to threaten the country’s food production, nutrition security and distribution system.

He said: “The March, 2022 CH results is apt and comes at this phase of economic hardship we are still faced with in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“We should also not forget the insecurity situation which has continued to threaten Nigeria’s food and nutrition security.

“Obviously, these changes have led to disruptions in food production and distribution systems, resulting in poor consumption patterns among several households especially, in areas challenged by insecurity and disrupted livelihoods.”

He also disclosed that the second phase of the expansion exercise has been carried out and the CH state task force inaugurated in Nasarawa, Kogi, Kwara,Ogun and Rivers.

“This became necessary to enable a holistic analysis and understanding of the drivers and limiting factors to food and nutrition insecurity across the entire country. I will like to thank the FAO, WFP and all other partners who supported the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Nigeria at large in making this dream come true”, he added.
Meanwhile, he (Umakikhe) also assured partners and governments that the Ministry is committed to upholding the outcomes and recommendations arising from the analysis.

“I call on all participants to contribute positively and objectively to the issues emanating from the results to enhance its quality, usefulness and acceptability by the wide spectrum of stakeholders.

“This is with a view to enhancing the food and nutrition security situation in the concerned states through objective intervention programmes”, he said.

He also appreciated the support of CILSS, FAO, WFP, IPC, FEWSNET, ECOWAS, Save the Children International, the Nigeria Food Security Sector and other partners including sister Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs- Federal Ministry of Health, National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria Meteorological Agency, NAERLS, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, National Emergency Management Agency, and others.

The CH analysis covered 21 States in Nigeria including Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross-River, Edo.,Enugu, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Lagos, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, and Zamfara, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The state level analysis was conducted in four designated centres namely, Bauchi Centre (Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe States), Katsina Centre (Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Jigawa, Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara,), los Centre (Plateau, Niger, Bauchi, Benue, Gombe, Taraba and the FCT) and Benin Center (Abia, Cross-River, Edo, Enugu and Lagos), Four states, namely, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno and Yobe conducted their analysis at the LGA level.

A total of 459 Zones/LGAs across the 21 States and the FCT were analysed for both the current and projected periods.

The results indicated that, “The March, 2022 CH cycle analyzed a total of 158,227,683 people. Out of this, 14,019,120 (i.e., 8.9% of the analyzed population) people in the participating states are currently in various critical phases (3, 4 & 5) of food and nutrition insecurity. Among these people, 383,119 (2.7%) are in emergency.”

According to the results, “In the projected period however, the number of people in the critical phases may increase to 18,959,885 (12.0% of the analysed population), including, 979,687 in emergency (across Borno, Adamawa, Katsina, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara), unless and conscious and intensive efforts are made to sustain humanitarian support and other government intervention schemes targeted at the households for recovery and resilience in their livelihoods.
“This projected marginal increase in the population of people who may require immediate need of humanitarian assistance could be related to the insecurity wave in the NE states (Borno, Adamawa & Yobe) and activities of bandits in some North West and North Central States (Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Kaduna, Benue and Niger). Similarly, the inclusion results of five (5) new states (Abia, Cross-River, Edo, Enugu and Lagos) in the CH analysis have added to the increase in vulnerable population.

“Many households are also yet to fully recover from the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, which disrupted means of livelihood across the states. About 41% (188) of the Zones/LGAs analyzed were classified under the minimal phase, while 48.1 % ( 221 ) are under stress Phase, and 10.7% (49) are classified in Crisis phase in the current period. In the projected period however, 23.7% (109) LGAs are.

Meanwhile, the results pointed factors driving acute food and nutrition insecurity conditions, which include insecurity, especially insurgency in the North-East States, mostly in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States; armed banditry and banditry in some North West States such as Sokoto, Katsina, Zamfara and Kaduna States, as well as North Central States of Benue and Niger.
High inflation rate as evident in soaring food commodity prices, which could be associated with economic downturn; Loss of employment and reduction in household Income due to the long-term effect of COVID-19 pandemic and displacement arising from conflict and armed banditry as evident in the crisis-emergency livelihood coping strategies adopted most households.

“Among the principal reasons for the increase in the number of people in critical need as against the March, 2021 Cycle could be the objective analysis of inaccessible/hard-to-reach areas (Borno and Adamawa), Internally Displaced Persons (Borno), the increased number of displaced (vulnerable populations) due to banditry, and finally the inclusion of five new states. Contextual Shifts: Decreases in food availability in the post-harvest period arising from depleted stock at household level; Methodological Shifts: Assessment and separate analysis of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara States.”

Meanwhile, part of CH’s recommendations want Government and humanitarian agencies to sustain the implementation of life-saving interventions of food assistance and unconditional cash transfers (social welfare package) to the vulnerable populations in the affected areas.
Sustain the facilitation of humanitarian access to inaccessible/hard-to-reach areas so as to provide assistance to those in critical need; Government, NGOs and Civil Society Organizations and private actors should sustain/promote various empowerment programmes geared towards building the resilience of households through revitalization of the MSMEs.

“However, priority should be given to the vulnerable populations in these analyzed states to enable them to get a fresh start-up for their livelihood. In addition, there is the need to support the vulnerable populations with agricultural production inputs.

“Adoption of the CH analysis result as a tool for response planning and policy formulation by Governments, humanitarian agencies and NGOs to address the food and nutrition challenges of insecure populations and zones. Thus, states should consistently strengthen and expand the scope and frontiers of the State Analysis Task Force (SATF) to ensure the plurality of its composition.

“Governments should consciously make budgetary provision to support the implementation of CH activities at both the national and state levels. In this wise, adequate provision should be made for the conduct of food and nutrition security assessments for all the states to strengthen the credibility of the CH results”, it added.

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