Over 9 million people in Nigeria face food insecurity

ANKARA (AA) – At least 9.2 million people in Nigeria faced a crisis or worse levels of food insecurity between March and May this year amid armed conflicts, COVID-19's effects and climate change, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said Monday.

Of these, an estimated 3.2 million are in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, the FAO said in a statement.

“This figure is expected to increase to over 12.8 million people, of whom 4.4 million are in the three northeastern states, during June–August 2021, unless resilience-focused and humanitarian actions are taken,” it warned.

The FAO’s statement also highlighted the increasing number of forced displacements in the country, particularly in areas where armed attacks are more intensive, which affects the lives of millions of people in Africa’s most populous country.

“Increased violence and forced displacement continue to affect the humanitarian situation in northeastern Nigeria – the key hotspot of the armed conflict in the country – that has been further aggravated by trade disruptions and an economic decline linked to the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19),” the FAO said.

Regarding climate change’s impact on the West African country, the FAO said it affects food security and nutrition in the northeastern states.

“With the deterioration of the food security situation and an increased risk of famine in areas of Borno state, providing agricultural inputs to the most vulnerable households in time for the planting season starting in June is crucial to quickly increase food availability and access,” it added.

The UN agency also stressed the importance of embracing the diversifying of livelihoods, production and income sources.