12.1m Nigerians will go hungry in December — UNICEF, WFP and FOA predict

According to a joint report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the United Nations Children and Education Funds (UNICEF), 12.1 million Nigerians will go hungry until December 2021 as a result of insecurity and COVID-19.

The report known as Cadre Harmonise, revealed that about 19 percent of the families that will be affected by the hunger would come from Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States.

The report disclosed that the analysis involved 154,008,198 people, out of whom 12,135,318 in the participating 20 states plus the FCT are currently experiencing Crisis and emergency food insecurity.

The hunger situations in Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Edo, Enugu, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Lagos, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, and FCT were also analyzed.

“Already, an estimated 228 707 people in the emergence phase wherein, even with humanitarian aid, at least one out of five households is either facing extreme food deficits, resulting in a very high acute malnutrition or excessive mortality, or an extreme loss of assets relating to livelihoods, causing deficits in food consumption in the short term.

“This number is projected to increase to 3.5 million at the peak of the 2022 lean season between June and August,with the number of people anticipated to be in the Emergency phase’ doubling to 459,847.

“In addition, 13 551 people are anticipated to experience catastrophe-like conditions in some of the most inaccessible localities, if access to life-saving and livelihood support interventions are not sufficiently scaled up,” it read.

UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins said;

“it costs only 5,000 Naira to prevent a child from becoming malnourished, while it costs 50,000 Naira to treat a malnourished child.

“We need to invest in preventing malnutrition in children by improving the diets of women and young children, ensuring supplementation – including with Vitamin A and Iron Folic Acid – and expanding nutrition counselling services to caregivers.

“By doing so, we can change the narrative of the Cadre Harmonize analysis and ensure that children survive and thrive. But we must all work together to achieve this, especially during the challenging times we are now facing.”

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