19 million Nigerians in FCT and 20 other states projected to be in food crisis – Report

About 19.4 million people including 416,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in 21 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are expected to be in food crisis or worse between June and August this year, a report by the Cadre Harmonisé (CH) analysis has said.
The first quarter CH report for the year 2022, also revealed that about 14.4 million people including 385,000 IDPS in 21 States and FCT are currently in a food  crisis or worse through May this year.
The Nation learnt that the CH is a unified tool for consensual analysis of acute food and nutrition insecurity, across 17 Sahel and West African States including Nigeria.
The CH analysis facilitated by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP), and other relevant stakeholders, covered 21 states to include; Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross-River, Edo, Enugu, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Lagos, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara and the FCT.
According to the report, key drivers and limiting factors that impact the food and nutrition security situation are insecurity, especially in the north east, inflation rate as evident on soaring food commodity prices, which could be associated with economic downturn, loss of employment and reduction in household income due to long term-effect of COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking during the food security analysis presentation in Abuja on Friday, Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in Nigeria and to the Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS), Mr Fred Kafeero, said there is a growing need for a holistic approach towards national food systems transformation which is essential for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.
Kafeero, who was represented by Professor Salisu Mohammed said, the integration of CH outcomes in the national food systems transformation pathways will significantly contribute to the food systems transformation journey.
He called on the government to incorporate CH analysis results in national planning, including the designing and implementation of national food systems transformation action plans.
Also, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Ernest Umakhihe said, the CH analysis became necessary to enable holistic analysis and understanding of the drivers and limiting factors to food and nutrition insecurity across the country.
He said: “We should also not forget the insecurity situation which has continued to threaten Nigeria’s food and nutrition security. Obviòusly, 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.
Furthermore, stakeholders at the presentation of the food analysis report recommended that the government and humanitarian agencies should sustain the implementation of life-saving interventions of food assistance and unconditional cash transfers to the vulnerable populations in the affected areas.
The stakeholders also called on the government, NGOs and Civil Society Organisations and private actors to sustain and promote various empowerment programmes geared towards building the resilience of households through revitalisation of the  Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
“Priority should be given to the vulnerable populations in these analysed states to enable them to get a fresh start-up for their livelihood. There is the need to support the vulnerable populations with agricultural production inputs.
“Governments should consciously make budgetary provision to support the implementation of CH activities at both the national and state levels”, the stakeholders added.

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