- 26.5m people estimated to be affected
An analysis done recently by the Nigerian federal government and its partners has noted that food insecurity may affect about 26.5 million people in 26 states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) between June and August 2024.
The Cadre Hamonise (CH) analysis was conducted with the Food and Agriculture of the United Nations (FAO), Action Against Hunger, FEWS Net, and other partners.
Nigeria, with a population estimated at about 220 million has the highest gross domestic product (GDP) in Africa at a 2022 estimate of $477.4 billion, but is in the vulnerable African continent exposed by the Russia-Ukraine war as incapable of feeding itself. It spends billions of dollars importing foods despite having arable land to cultivate and produce foods for its people.
According to this recent report, about 18.6 million people, including internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Borno, Sokoto, Zamfara, and other states, including the FCT, are expected to be in crisis from now until next month. This is due to conflicts and insecurity that have disrupted livelihoods and increased displacement. In particular, the protracted insecurity and activities of non-state armed groups, banditry, and kidnappings in the northeast have exacerbated the crisis, the report indicated.
In addition to the factors previously mentioned, the report also cited the removal of fuel subsidy, the redesign of the naira, and the impact of floods on crop production as key drivers of the crisis.
Dominique Kouacou, FAO country representative, presented the analysis and noted that it was conducted in 26 states and the FCT to understand the current food security situation and make projections for the future.
Kouacou noted that the current food insecurity cycle follows an unusual lean season, during which Nigeria experienced a range of shocks, including persistent insecurity such as insurgency and banditry, conflicts over natural resources, high food and agricultural input costs due to high inflation, and severe dry spells in some states after the start of the rainy season.
According to Ernest Umakhihe, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, recurring environmental and human factors such as climate change, insecurity-related displacements, and seasonal flooding have all contributed to the current situation.
Umakhihe, who was represented by Fausat Lawal, director, special duties, noted that disruptions in food consumption patterns and the increased use of irreversible coping strategies among a significant portion of the Nigerian population are major implications of the current situation.
The permanent secretary said the findings of the CH analysis are being released at a time when governments at all levels are taking unprecedented measures to boost the economy.