Nigeria, in the next three to six months, could face a “major (food) emergency – or series of emergencies”, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have jointly warned.
Alongside Burkina Faso, South Sudan and Yemen, the WFP listed the Northeastern region of Nigeria among countries tagged currently as food insecurity “hotspots”.
In a release on Friday, the UN agency attributed these food crises to the long-running conflict and the lack of humanitarian access to communities in need.
It added that climate extremes and the economic fallout of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) also deteriorated the situation.
The pandemic, the WFP revealed, worsened food insecurity in 27 countries, with up to 104.6 million people in need.
Earlier this year, in March, the FAO had predicted that sixteen Northern States in Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory would face food and nutrition crises between June and August this year.
Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Benue, Gombe, Taraba, Katsina, Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi, Plateau, Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, and Niger, were all reported as states to be affected.
The WFP has also warned that 16 other countries could face the same crises, as it called for urgent action to prevent famine in hunger hotspots.
Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Venezuela, among others, were listed as ‘at-risk nations’.
Senior Food Security Adviser, WFP, Claudia Ah Poe, said, “We are concerned that they may be facing an elevated risk of famine if the situation would further deteriorate over the coming months.
“These countries already had significant acute food insecurity levels in 2020…and are now facing a risk of a further rapid deterioration over the next months”
Praying urgent actions to eliminate the risk of famine in Nigeria, WFP Spokesperson, Tomson Phiri, in Friday’s statement added that the dire situation in the northern part of the country was linked to the insurgency currently bedeviling the region.
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