The number of people who are now facing hunger in Abuja and 16 northern states has been revealed.
The armed insurgency in northeast Nigeria continues to have devastating impacts on food and nutrition status of people in the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.
In the current period - October to December 2019 - an estimated 2.6 million people in the three states are classified as facing crisis or worse levels of food insecurity, a reduction of close to 300,000 people from June 2019, according to recently released Cadre Harmonisé (CH) analysis.
However, if no humanitarian support is provided, a projected 3.6 million people in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe are likely to be food insecure from June to August 2020 - traditionally the lean season in the northeast.
A resurgence in conflict and insecurity, wide-scale floods ravaging homesteads and farmlands during the rainy season and outbreaks of diseases, including cholera, are key drivers of the current food and nutrition situation in the northeast.
“While continued reductions in the number of food secure are welcome, there is urgent need to accelerate the pace by which we remove people from vulnerable situations. This can only be achieved by addressing the root causes of the conflict and by providing sustainable livelihoods support.
"As agriculture is the largest employer and source of income in these states, the promotion of sustainable and higher income agricultural livelihoods is critical,” said Suffyan Koroma, UN Food and Agriculture Organization representative in Nigeria at the CH launch.
The CH analysis also found that an estimated 4.02 million people in 16 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory are facing food insecurity between October to December, 2019.
About 5.9 million are projected to be food insecure across the north from June to August 2020, if no humanitarian interventions take place.
The states included in the analysis were Bauchi, Adamawa, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe, Borno, Kano, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, Niger, Benue and Plateau.
Launched on 5 November, 2019 in Abuja, the CH results were presented by the Government of Nigeria and key partners including FAO, the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), World Food Programme and others.
The CH tool is a part of the ECOWAS regional framework for the consensual analysis of acute food insecurity situations and aims to strengthen food security.
Experts recommended strong security actions in areas deemed ‘hard to reach’ and disconnected from humanitarian support. They also called for new humanitarian interventions across the 16 states, specifically for populations most at risk. Due to volatility, especially in the northern Borno axis, a number of areas in the northeast were not assessed as part of the current Cadre Harmonisé process.