The newly launched United Nation Food and Agriculture Cadre Harmonisé report has revealed that nine million people in 16 northern states may experience food insecurity between the period of March and August 2017.
The investigation carried out in 16 states of Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Kastina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Gombe, Bauchi, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Niger, Taraba, Zamfara, Benue and Jigawa revealed that 10 percent of the population in the states might be affected.
The report explained that seven million people, representing seven percent of the population in the 16 states would be food insecure between March and May, while nine million people would be affected between June and August.
The report admitted that though the level of food insecurity has largely improved since last Cadre Harmonisé analysis in the country, however, the problem is still alarming in Northern Nigeria and humanitarian assistance needs to be escalated in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States to save lives, as well as reduce consumption deficit of the worst affected populations.
It further stressed the need to scale up humanitarian assistance in other 13 states Crisis experiencing levels of food insecurity (Cadre Harmonisé phase 3).
The report attributed the food insecurity in the country to the consequences of conflict in the North-eastern states, which have led to an increased IDPs influx and movement, as well as disruption of market supply and infrastructures compounded with high food prices caused by currency inflation, which have significantly limited the population’s access to food.
The FAO Officer in Charge, Patrick David, who spoke during the presentation of the report in Abuja, said assisting the most vulnerable people and increasing households’ resilience to food security threats will contribute to saving many lives.
He said: “It’s very important to know who these people are, where they are and what they need. The Cadre Harmonise would be very helpful in making strong recommendations to decision makers to know how much food and livelihood support to be provided for them.”
The Deputy Country Director, World Food Program, Douglas Mercado said Cadre Harmonise would provide the basis for them to work with. The federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has, however, denied the report by the Food and Agricultural Oganisation, maintaining that the international community is only trying to undermine the present administration’s efforts at improving food production in the country.