By Bukar Bolori
The United Nations has said the deterioration of food security in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states have left more than 8.4 million people in dire need of humanitarian assistance and protection.
A statement by United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) on Friday said: “After averting catastrophe in 2021, danger looms again for the people of north-east Nigeria if efforts are not sustained.”
The statement further read that: “Final Cadre Harmonisé (CH) analysis results from March 2022 project deterioration of the food security situation in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states, where more than 8.4 million people require humanitarian assistance and protection.
“The March 2022 CH projects 4.1 million people in need (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification Phase 3 or above) during the peak of the 2022 lean season, of whom an estimated almost 600,000 people are projected to be in an emergency situation (Phase 4).
“This is a 19 per cent increase in the number of people in need of food security assistance since the October 2021 analysis, including an alarming 28 per cent increase in the number of people in the emergency category.
“Additionally, according to the IPC acute malnutrition analysis from September 2021 – August 2022 the number of acutely malnourished children and women is expected to significantly increase in the year 2022 and further worsen in the lean season. The analysis indicates that 1.74 million children aged 6-59 months will need treatment for acute malnutrition in 2022. These are anticipated to be the highest levels observed since the emergency period of 2016.
The statement further added that: The 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria is seeking $1.1 billion to support 5.5 million people. As part of this, $351 million is urgently needed by May to deliver life-saving food security and nutrition assistance to the most affected people.”
The statement revealed that: “On 8 April 2022, a Joint Advocacy Event on Food Security and Nutrition in North-East Nigeria was held in Abuja by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in partnership with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), World Food Programme (WFP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).
“The initiative aimed to raise awareness and advocate for urgent resource mobilization from both the international community and the Nigerian Government.”