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12m Nigerians will be thrown into food crisis before end of 2021 – Report

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12m Nigerians will be thrown into food crisis before end of 2021 — Report

As Nigerians continue to be under burden of high food prices, an October 2021 Food Security and Nutrition Analysis, also called the Cadre Harmonise, Thursday, revealed that 12.1 million Nigerians will be thrown into food crisis before the end of 2021.

The Cadre Harmonise was conducted in 20 States, and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and it further indicated that about 19 per cent of affected households are in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States

Following the raging conflict in the North East region of the country coupled with adverse economic effect and impact resulting from the devastating novel Coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic, has continued to unleash hunger in Nigeria according to the latest official figures for analysis of food insecurity and malnutrition released on 5 November, 2021.

The analysis involved 154, 008, 198 people, out of whom 12, 135, 318 in the participating 20 States plus the FCT are currently experiencing Crisis and Emergency phases of food insecurity.

The States analysed in the current Cadre Harmonise round include Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, CrossRiver, Edo, Enugu, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Lagos, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, and Yobe, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The report’s provisional results were released in Abuja on Friday, November 5. They reveal that the number of people in critical or worse phases of food insecurity may increase to about 16.9 million unless efforts are made to scale up and sustain humanitarian support and other government interventions for livelihood recovery and resilience.

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Crisis level is described as a stage at which, even with humanitarian aid, at least one out of five households in the target area is characterized with considerable food consumption deficits and acute malnutrition at high or higher rates than the normal. It also stands for a situation in which households are marginally able to meet their minimum food needs by depleting assets related to livelihoods, leading to deficits in food consumption.

According to the report the BAY States are most affected; The analysis estimates that in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States, which are the most affected by the prolonged armed conflict, 2.4 million people are currently in the Crisis phase or worse and need urgent assistance.

These include an estimated 228 707 people in the Emergence phase wherein, even with humanitarian aid, at least one out of five households is either facing extreme food deficits, resulting in a very high acute malnutrition or excessive mortality, or an extreme loss of assets relating to livelihoods, causing deficits in food consumption in the short term.

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This number is projected to increase to 3.5 million at the peak of the 2022 lean season between June and August, with the number of people anticipated to be in the Emergency phase’ doubling to 459,847. Another 13 551 people are anticipated to experience catastrophe-like conditions in some of the most inaccessible localities, if access to life-saving and livelihood support interventions are not sufficiently scaled up.

Key drivers of the report indicated Insecurity- especially the prolonged armed conflict in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States and banditry in some North-West States, including Sokoto, Katsina, Zamfara and Kaduna States, as well as the North Central States of Benue and Niger – is the main driver of the prevailing food insecurity.

High inflation rates have resulted in soaring food commodity prices, partly attributable to the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic downturn.

Loss of employment and reduction in household income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and displacement arising from conflict and armed banditry has forced most households to employ emergency livelihood coping strategies.

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