A joint report from Food and Agriculture Organization (FOA), World Food Programme (WFP), and the United Nations Children and Education Funds (UNICEF) has stated that 12.1m Nigerians may go through starvation in December 2021 amid insecurity and Covid-19 ravaging the country.
The report, called Cadre Harmonise, also revealed that regions that would most likely be affected will be areas such as Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States.
The analysis was based on research conducted on 154,008,198 people, out of whom 12,135,318 in the participating 20 states plus the FCT complained of insecurity and emergency food crisis.
It read: “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.”
UNICEF representative, Peter Hawkins expressed his concern over the malnutrition of women and young children while emphasizing the need to consume a richer diet and also introduce supplements.
He 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.”