9.8m Nigerians in 16 states, FCT could be dying of hunger – FAO
More than 9.8 million Nigerians in 16 states and the Federal Capital Territory might be at risk of starvation as food insecurity worsens in the country, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Thursday.
FAO, a United Nations arm, made the declaration in its October/November 2002 Cadre Harmonise Analysis report, a commentary on food crisis and nutrition situation of the country, at a stakeholder forum in Abuja.
It observed that Taraba, Katsina, Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Benue and Jigawa ranked among states in the country with high vulnerability to starvation among their residents.
The rest are Sokoto, Kaduna, Kano, Bauchi, Kebbi, Plateau, Niger as well as the FCT.
Headline inflation in Africa’s biggest country by population, where over 200 million people live, has been on the rise for 13 months in a row, hitting a peak of 13.71% amidst spiralling cost of living. Food inflation stood at 16.66% having being in double digits for more than three years.
Fred Kafeero, FAO representative for Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African State, stated that the discoveries of the study pointed at the imperative of government’s swift intervention in addressing the phenomenon.
“The presentation of the results of the October/November 2020 Cadre Harmonise analysis for the 16 states and the FCT is such an important stage in determining our next actions and effective response in ensuring food security and nutrition in the country.”
According to him, the Cadre Harmonise represents a regional structure for investigation of severe food and nutrition challenges in West Africa.
“Through this framework, areas of risk of malnourishment and undernourishment and the food insecure populations are identified,” Kafeero said.
The Cadre Harmonise seeks to forestall food crisis by way of recommendation of proactive measures that can curb malnutrition threats across populations and promote better living.