Over 30 million face hunger in Nigeria


Nigeria farming

from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
Nigeria Bureau
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – RISING inflation, insurgency, kidnappings, high fuel prices and climate-related shocks are projected to condemn over 31 million people in Nigeria to acute food crisis this year.

This is an increase of over 28 percent from the previous year, when 24,8 million people suffered this setback.

This is out of an estimated total population of 220 million people, the largest in Africa.

Again this year, the three northeastern states- Adamawa, Borno and Yobe- worst affected by the insurgency by Islamists will be the hardest hit by the food crisis during the lean season from June to August.

An estimated 4,8 million people are at risk of severe hunger in the three regions.

This number is an 11,6 per cent increase from the 4,3 million people projected to be food insecure during the same period in 2023.

These figures are according to the recent Cadre Harmonisé food and nutrition analysis.

Borno would be the most burdened with over 2,1 million people projected to face acute hunger by June 2024. Yobe State will account for 1,5 million food-insecure people, followed by Adamawa State with 1,2 million food-insecure people during the 2024 lean season.

Meanwhile, farmers across Nigeria continue to desert their farms due to heightened insecurity.

The Association of Nigerian Farmers reports that some 165 farmers across the country have lost their lives in 2024 alone due to farmland insecurity.

In some cases, farmers had to pay huge sums of money to operatives of non-state armed groups (NSAGs) to be allowed to access their farms.

Farmland insecurity has resulted in less food production.

According to Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics, food inflation hit 37,92 per cent in February, from 35,41 percent in January.

The protracted conflict and dry spell in the northeast has worsened the food and nutrition crisis.

The federal government of Nigeria declared a national food security emergency in July 2023.

Besides the food crisis, the northeastern region is beset by kidnappings by armed groups targeting refugee settlements, schools and foreign investors.

Mohamed Malick Fall, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, has condemned the abductions.

Also, at least four children have lost their lives and thousands of refugees lost their shelters and personal belongings following multiple fire outbreaks in refugee settlements in Borno.

In the town of Monguno alone, there have been 23 fire outbreaks this year.

– CAJ News

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