Foodstuffs and Grains

Economy: FAO warns 25.3m Nigerian consumers may face food crisis by Q3 2023

*The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation urges the Nigerian Government to accelerate and sustain livelihood and food assistance to millions of households to avert likely food insecurity in the West African country between June and August 2023

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In view of the urgent need to boost livelihoods of millions of households in the economy, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the Nations (UN) has estimated that 25.3 million Nigerians are in danger of experiencing food crisis especially between June and August 2022, unless urgent steps are taken to avert the likely scenario.

ConsumerConnect reports the UN agency said this was contained in its October 2022 Food and Nutrition Analysis, urging the Nigerian Government to scale up and sustain livelihoods and food assistance for consumers.

The analysis reportedly indicates that about 17 million people including internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees in 25 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were in “crisis or worse level” through October 2022.

Of the figure, the transnational organisation stated that three million are living in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states in Northern Nigeria.

It also said: “Furthermore, an estimated 25.3 million people are projected to be in crisis or worse levels during the 2023 lean season (June–August) with 4.4 million in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, if immediate steps to scale up and sustain livelihood and food assistance are not taken.”

According to FAO, the Government of the Royal Kingdom of Norway renewed its funding cooperation with the food agency aimed at helping the most vulnerable populations in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe and Taraba states with a special focus on women-led households.

FAO and partners’ 3-year intervention for 43,990 households

The three-year intervention will benefit 43,990 households (about 307,930 individuals), with at least 45 percent of them being women as direct beneficiaries receiving items, such as agricultural inputs, livestock assets, and energy-saving stoves.

The beneficiaries reportedly include IDPs, host communities and returnees of relocated households with special attention paid to women-headed households.

Speaking at a signing ceremony to kick-start the project’s implementation in Abuja, FCT, Knut Eiliv Lein, Ambassador of the Royal Kingdom of Norway to Nigeria, was quoted to have disclosed that his country remained committed to supporting the efforts at restoring the conflict-affected livelihoods in the North-East.

Ambassador Lein said: “This project we are signing here today is part of Norway’s larger support to Nigeria in general, including humanitarian efforts specifically targeting those in need in the North-East region.

“We have partnered with many organisations in addressing a number of issues, including health, food security, democracy, gender equality and more.”

Mr. Fred Kafeero, FAO Representative in Nigeria  to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS),  appreciated Norway’s support, describing it as another milestone in strengthening the commitment in the fight against poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition in Nigeria.

Kafeero stated: “The new project, whose agreement we are signing here today, marks the continuous and fruitful collaboration, and partnership that exists between the Government of the Royal Kingdom of Norway and FAO in Nigeria.

“Thanks to this collaboration for years now, the conflict-affected populations of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states have greatly benefited from the agricultural-based livelihoods support that has enabled them to improve their food security as well as build their resilience.”

The FAO Representative further noted the support aims at enhancing resilience to the humanitarian crisis, climate variability and change of vulnerable communities; and building resilient livelihoods in the BAY states against the negative effects of climate change, FAO said.

According to Kafeero, the beneficiaries of the initiative, who will receive special training on animal husbandry, farming and agribusiness, are IDPs, host communities and returnees of relocated households with special attention paid to women-headed households.

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