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2.6 Million People Facing Critical or Worse Food Insecurity in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe States... FAO

By Sadiq Abubakar, The Nigerian Voice, Maiduguri
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The armed insurgency in the Northeast of Nigeria has continued to have devastating impact on food and nutrition status of people in the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe in the current period of October to December, 2019 .

A statement jointly signed by Suffiyan Kotoma, FAO Country Representative and Al Hassan Cisse, Head, North East, FAO and made available to The Nigerian Voice in Maiduguri said that an estimated 2.6 million people in the three states are classified as facing crisis or worse levels of food insecurity

The statement added that a reduction of close to 300,000 people from June 2019, according to recently released Cadre Harmonisé (CH) analysis.

It further stated that, if no humanitarian support is provided, a projected 3.6 million people in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states are likely to be food insecured from June to August 2020 which is traditionally the lean season in the Northeast.

Slow but steady progress in the Northeast
A resurgence in conflict and insecurity, wide-scale floods ravaging homesteads and farmlands during the rainy season and outbreak of diseases, including cholera, are key drivers of the current food and nutrition situation in the Northeast.

“While we continued reductions, there is urgent need to accelerate the pace by which we remove people from vulnerable situations.

"This can only be achieved by addressing the root causes of the conflict and by providing sustainable livelihoods supports. As agriculture is the largest employer and source of income in these states, the promotion of sustainable and higher income agricultural livelihood is critical,” Suffyan Koroma, said at the CH launch.

"The CH analysis also found that an estimated 4.02 million people in 16 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory are facing food insecurity between October to December, 2019. About 5.9 million are projected to be food insecure across the north from June to August 2020, if no humanitarian interventions takes place.

T"he states included in the analysis are Bauchi, Adamawa, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe, Borno, Kano, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, Niger, Benue and Plateau."

Launched on 5 November, 2019 in Abuja, the CH results were presented by the Government of Nigeria and key partners including FAO, the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel, the World Food Programme and others. The CH tool is a part of the ECOWAS regional framework for the consensual analysis of acute food insecurity situations and aims to strengthen food security information and analysis.

Key recommendations to strengthen food security and nutrition among the vulnerable were shared at the launch.

Experts recommended strong security actions in areas deemed ‘hard to reach’ and disconnected from humanitarian support. They also called for new humanitarian interventions across the 16 states, specifically for populations most at risk.

Due to volatility, especially in the Northern Borno axis, a number of areas in the northeast were not assessed as part of the current Cadre Harmonisé process.

The results of the CH analysis are now the benchmark for the United Nations Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) and Humanitarian Response Plans (HRP) for the Northeast.

The Cadre Harmonisé analysis in Nigeria is funded by Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and USAID. The next round of the CH is expected to take place in March, 2020.