Food security: 13.8 million Nigerians will need urgent attention on nutrition, FAO report

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By Aderogba George

Abuja, Nov. 5, 2020 The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations on Thursday in Abuja launched the Oct/Nov 2020 food insecurity and nutrition report, known as “Cadre Harmonise (CH)’’.

The launching of the report was done in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The Cadre Harmonise is the tool adopted for use in gauging the food insecurity and nutrition situation of countries in the Sahel where member countries, including Nigeria, applied for the outcome of the analysis to prevent food crisis and identify the areas affected and the populations.

The report looks at food crisis situation in 16 states – Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Gombe, Zamfara – and the FCT.

The report stated that more than 13.8 million Nigerians will need urgent attention between now and Aug. 2021 in the states listed.

The report also stated that more than nine million Nigerians are expected to be in food crisis between Oct. 2020 to Dec. 2020.

The FAO Country Representative in Nigeria, Mr Fred Kafeero, said the CH analysis report was an important tool for food security and for stakeholders to proffer appropriate measures to improve on the situation and on the livelihoods in states threatened by hunger.

He said that the Oct/Nov 2020 CH analysis happens to be different from the previous years as it took into consideration the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 pandemic and the various outcomes of deliberations from the 2020 Feed Nigeria Summit (FNS).

He said despite the relaxation of the COVID-19 lockdown measures, several households are still currently experiencing difficulties in accessing their basic food and non-food needs due to disrupted livelihood.

Kafeero said FAO has supported 63,000 farmers with quality seeds and fertilizer during the wet season and another 19,000 for the coming dry season.

Dr Abdulkadir Muazu, the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, said the ministry is working closely with the FAO and World Food Programme to identify areas for intervention by the Federal Government.

Represented by Alhaji Zubairu Abdullahi, the Director of Planning in the ministry, Muazu said that the COVID-19 pandemic has created a huge impact on many households, particularly in the 16 states and the FCT mentioned in the report.

He stressed the need to support the household to cushion the effect of the current economic situation.

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