About 22 million people could face a food crisis in Nigeria between October 2020 and August 2021, a report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, has shown.
The report ‘Cadre Harmoníse’ (CH), launched on Thursday in Abuja, is an analysis on acute food and nutrition insecurity from October to December 2020 and projected between June and August 2021.
The report said nine million people are in the first phase of the food crisis, which runs from October 2020 to December 2020.
The report, however, forecasts that the second half of the food crisis will begin in June 2021 and end in August 2021.
The report looks at 16 states in Nigeria: Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kastina, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara, and the Federal Capital Territory.
Cadre Harmoníse (CH) report is the framework for consensual analysis of acute food and nutrition insecurity situations in the ECOWAS region.
The October 2020 CH analysis covered 16 Northern States of Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
In Nigeria, CH has become a critical tool in estimating the areas and population of vulnerable people in need of humanitarian assistance, since 2015.
The October/November 2020 CH analysis happens to be different from the previous years, as it took into consideration the unprecedented impact of the COVID -19 pandemic.
According to the report, despite the relaxation of the COVID-19 lockdown measures, several households are still experiencing difficulties in accessing their basic food and non-food needs due to disrupted livelihoods.
This has resulted in reduced opportunities for income, food and nutrition security.
In this context, FAO and partners have adapted their programme to respond to the increased need.
For the 2020 rainy season in the northeast, FAO reached 63,300 households with quality seeds and fertilizer.
“Another 12,000 households (has) been reached with livestock support. We are planning to reach about 19,000 HH for the upcoming dry season,” it said.
The report for March 2020 showed that about 5.06 million people required urgent assistance in the period (March to May 2020).
During the projected period (June to August 2020), these figures were expected to increase to 7.09 million people in the absence of resilience driven interventions and humanitarian assistance in areas where such is not feasible.
The result of the June 2020 updated analysis, revealed that slightly over 5.7 million people required urgent assistance in the period (June Aug, 2020). This is five per cent additional people to those projected during the March 2020 CH analysis requiring food assistance in these four states.
The country representative of FAO, Fred Kafeero, said financial sustainability of the CH is the key decision-making tool available for designing, implementing and monitoring response programmes.
He said there is a need to expand the scope of the CH analysis to the remaining 20 states yet to be on the analysis table.
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