Nigeria Listed among 41 Countries in Need of External Food Assistance - THISDAY
BY Oluchi Chibuzor
A report released by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Thursday, titled, “Crop Prospect and Food Situation,” has listed Nigeria among 41 countries in need of external assistance for food with protracted conflicts primarily identified as driver of high levels of food insecurity.
It also noted that adverse weather conditions – particularly rainfall shortages in Africa – acutely affecting food availability and access for millions of people.
The report, a quarterly publication of United Nation’s FAO for the month of September, 2019, had 31 African, eight Asian and two Latin America and Caribbean countries on the report.
According to the FAO, the 41 countries currently in need of external food assistance are: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Venezuela, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
The report stated that these countries have continued to be in need of external assistance for food, with conflicts acting as the primary cause of high levels of food insecurity and adverse weather conditions – particularly rainfall shortages in Africa – acutely affecting food availability and access for millions of people.
It noted that adverse weather conditions had also affected agricultural production, reducing food availability and access in the listed countries.
“Conflict and civil insecurity are also primary drivers of food insecurity in Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen and parts of Myanmar and Nigeria.
“According to the last ‘Cadre Harmonisé’ analysis, about five million people were assessed to be in need of assistance between June and August 2019. Due to persisting civil insecurity, over 1.9 million people are internally displaced. The areas inaccessible to humanitarian interventions are facing the worse food security conditions,” it stated.
Furthermore, it noted that: “Ongoing conflicts also continue to affect farming activities, limiting farmers’ access to land and causing a shortage of inputs. The conflicts and civil insecurity are affecting North-east Nigeria, the Lake Chad Basin, the Lac and Tibesti regions of Chad, northern and central Mali. In the Liptako-Gourma Region, which include parts of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. High levels of insecurity and conflict in many areas have been affecting agro-pastoral activities during the crucial months between June and September, and are leading to increasing displacement, humanitarian needs and food insecurity.
“In north-east and North-west Nigeria, conflict incidents and violence by armed groups in recent months have been very high and have strongly hindered agro-pastoral activities.”