$62m Required To Avoid Further Hunger In N-East —FAO


The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), has said that $62 million is urgently needed to rescued the terrorism ravaged North Eastern part of Nigeria from hunger following the consequences of the activities of insurgents in the region.

A report from FAO noted that despite the progress already achieved in addressing the humanitarian crises in the Northeast in 2016, more synergy was needed to prevent escalation.

According to the report “In 2017, FAO is asking for USD 62 million under the Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria. Of this, USD 20 million is urgently required to reach 1.9 million people during the upcoming main planting season starting in June 2017. Missing this season will mean food insecurity and, therefore, humanitarian costs will continue rising into 2018.”

The report further said, apart from 5.1 million people who are already food insecure, about 1.77m Internally Displaced Persons( IDPs) scattered at different locations could also compound the food insecurity challenges, unless they are empowered to access land in their host communities and engage in farming activities.

The report which was signed by the communication officer of FAO, Emeka Anuforo further explained that “ a recent FAO mission demonstrated that IDPs have have access to land and there is no evidence of tension with host communities at this stage, meaning there is a real opportunity now to significantly increase food production and availability in 2017.”

More than 80 percent of the northeast rural population were reportedly dependent on crops and livestock farming, have also been confirmed to be heading to deeper humanitarian crises, hunger rise and more food shortage, despite the acclaimed gradual return of peace to the areas.

To control the impending crises in the northeast, FAO said it has started a dry season campaign with 174,400 people already empowered with vegetable seed, irrigation equipment and livestock support.

FAO also argued that “a combination of food assistance and food production support is the only way to address the scale of hunger facing the people of north-eastern Nigeria.”

On why FAO is canvassing a more improved seed system for the region, the reports pointed out “a Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) seeds system security Assessment indicated that the insurgency has negatively impacted on both the formal and informal seeds systems in the north-eastern states”

The report also revealed that despite the media frenzy about the efforts been channelled to the humanitarian crises in that region by local, national and international governments and organisations, agriculture-based livelihood interventions still remain weakly funded.

“However, agriculture-based livelihood interventions remain weakly funded. Missing the main planting season will force many IDPs, returnees and vulnerable host communities to rely on expensive and logistically challenging food assistance well into 2018,” it added.