FAO Warns: 2.6 Million Nigerians are at Risk of Hunger in 2024
By Adeke Chukwuka
At the presentation of the October to November round of the Cadre Harmonize food security and early warning analysis in Abuja, FAO country representative Dominique Kouacou revealed that over 2.6 million Nigerians in Borno, Sokoto, and Zamfara States, including the FCT, might face a food crisis between June and August 2024.
The information was shared by Dr. Abubakar Suleiman, Assistant FAO Representative, Programme, who represented Kouacou at the event.
The News Agency of Nigeria has reported that the Cadre Harmonize (CH) analysis was carried out in 26 states and the FCT to assess food security and make future projections. The current cycle follows an exceptionally lean season marked by various challenges such as ongoing insecurity, insurgency, and banditry.
Additional issues include conflicts related to natural resources, elevated food and agricultural input costs due to inflation, and prolonged dry spells in certain states shortly after the beginning of the rainy season.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, highlighted that the Cadre Harmonize (CH) analysis was meticulously conducted and validated by skilled professionals from the CH analysis task force over the last two weeks.
Represented by Mrs. Fausat Lawal, Director of Special Duties, he emphasized that the results of this analysis coincide with ongoing efforts by governments at all levels to rejuvenate the nation’s economy.
The Permanent Secretary acknowledged the challenges faced, including the lingering effects of COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war disrupting food systems and increasing input and food prices. He noted that the removal of petroleum subsidies added pressure, leading to food inflation and higher consumer prices.
He highlighted ongoing challenges, including climate change, insecurity-driven displacements, and seasonal flooding. These factors have affected food consumption patterns, leading to the widespread use of irreversible coping strategies among a significant portion of the population.
Despite these challenges, Umakhihe emphasized the ministry’s commitment to spearheading and supporting the Cadre Harmonize (CH) process in Nigeria.
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