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Over four million Northern Nigerians under threat of food insecurity – UN

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Over four million Northern Nigerians under threat of food insecurity – UN

Over four million people in Nigeria’s North-East region are projected to be in desperate need of food in the next season, according to Matthias Schmale, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria.

Schmale, speaking at an advocacy event in Abuja on food security and nutrition in North-East Nigeria, claimed that up to $351 million was needed to offer humanitarian help and avert the region’s impending crisis.

He also stated that 8.4 million Nigerians in the North-East would require humanitarian assistance, with 4.1 million people in the region currently suffering from extreme food insecurity.

In his words, “Across North-East Nigeria today, 8.4 million people need humanitarian assistance. Alarmingly, almost half of these crisis-affected people, 4.1 million are expected to face the severe pain of food insecurity in the approaching lean season.

“In 2021, the gap between people in need and people supported by food and nutrition assistance was 1.8 million. Due to reduced funding, that number is projected to dramatically increase to 2.9 million this lean season.

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“Unless resources are urgently mobilised, almost three million people in dire need of food and nutrition support will go unassisted. Without food assistance, desperation may compel extremely vulnerable people into transactional sex, child labour, and selling their few possessions.

“I have heard stories from last year’s lean season of people in the North-East eating grass to stay alive, and I fear the recurrence of this tragedy if we fail to act quickly.”

Speaking at the event, the Head of Special Duties, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Nadia Soso, said food security and nutrition of the affected people in the northern region remains a priority for the government.

“It paints a concerning picture of the great force they are up against. Imagine not only having to worry for your safety but also struggling each day to find adequate nutrition.

“For people across Borno, Adamawa and Yobe state, every day is a challenge and in which without quick action, no relief is in sight. Funding is urgently needed to ensure critical relief assistance as the gap between people in need and available resources will grow more severe.”

Over four million Northern Nigerians under threat of food insecurity – UN

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