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Friday, February 24, 2017

Hunger crisis deepens in Nigeria’s northeast, rolls over into Lake Chad Basin

As conflict and instability continue in the Nigeria’s North-eaast, the food security situation in the country and the Lake Chad Basin has drastically deteriorated, says the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), reports NaijaAgroNet.

According to FAO in a press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet, the agency also called for swift and decisive action from the international community to protect the livelihoods of millions of families dependent on farming, livestock and fishing for their food and livelihoods. 

With the next planting season starting in May, FAO noted that with scarcity of animal fodder and water points during the lean season, it is crucial that crop seeds, tools and livestock support reach families urgently to limit the scope of the deepening crisis that now involves four countries; Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.  

FAO is among the UN agencies and governments attending the Oslo Humanitarian Conference today, organized to mobilize international funding for the crisis-struck region, where 80 to 90 percent of people rely on farming, fishing and herding for their livelihoods.

The Director, FAO's Emergency and Rehabilitation Division, Dominique Burgeon, said that in the worst-affected areas, famine continues to loom and millions will remain trapped in cycles of severe hunger if the world don't enable farmers to start cropping now.

"Our collective efforts cannot be limited to merely avoiding massive famine - they need to allow people to return to a dignified life. And supporting agriculture is the key to both," he said.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that besides reducing hunger and boosting nutrition, FAO’s Burgeon said, investing in farmers also provides much needed job opportunities that would reduce migration and limit the potential for radicalization of unemployed youth.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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