The World Bank has condemned the 28.9 million people living in Nigeria and other West and Central African countries who are dependent on emergency food aid to survive.
This is despite above-average yields for the 2022/23 agricultural season. Countries in these regions continue to face severe food insecurity due to persistent insecurity and macroeconomic challenges, the Global Bank explained.
Specifically, the World Bank noted that 41.9 million people in Nigeria and these countries could lose access to food between June and August 2023 unless measures are taken. The World Bank made this point in its latest Food Security Update. The Washington-based bank said: “Currently, 28.9 million people are dependent on emergency food assistance. Unless appropriate countermeasures are taken, 41.9 million people could become food insecure between June 2023 and August 2023 (RPCA 2022) .
“The 2022/23 agro-pastoral season is satisfactory as cereal production is 6 percent above the 5-year average and roots and tubers 9 percent above the 5-year average, although food availability continues to deteriorate for the most vulnerable. “Food Price Ratio 36% above the 5-year average. In an unfavorable environment created by the war in Ukraine and the devaluation of some local currencies, inflation averaged 18%. Conflict and instability continue to lead to food insecurity, especially for internally displaced persons, now numbering more than 6.1 million. “
Ongoing violence in these areas is depriving people of their productive assets and affecting the resilience of thousands of farming and farming communities, the bank added.
Global support for agriculture and food exceeds $700 billion a year, but only 35 cents of every dollar of support goes to farmers, according to the bank. However, UNICEF recently revealed that around 25 million Nigerians are at risk of starvation between June 2023 and August 2023. It said this was an increase from the current estimated 17 million people at risk of food insecurity.
“Ongoing conflict, climate change, inflation and rising food prices are the main drivers of this worrying trend,” it said. Continued violence in the northeastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe and Armed banditry and kidnappings in the states of Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna, Benue and Niger have affected food supplies.
“According to the National Emergency Management Agency, widespread flooding during the 2022 monsoon has damaged more than 676,000 hectares of farmland, reducing harvests and increasing the risk of food insecurity for households across the country. Floods are an impact of climate change and variability affecting Nigeria One. More extreme weather patterns affecting food security are expected in the future.”
“The food security and nutrition situation in Nigeria is worrisome,” added Mr. Matthias Schmale, Nigeria Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator. “I have visited nutritional stabilization centers and they are full of children fighting for their lives. We must act now to ensure they and others get the life-saving support they need. “
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