Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Borno State Government has lamented that Boko Haram crisis has left many residents of the state relying on handouts and food aids.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Borno State Food and Nutrition (Technical and Steering) Committee yesterday, the state Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Ahmed Lawan, said: “The over a decade security challenges facing Borno State has contributed majorly in compounding further the already existing fragile security situation resulting from desertification, drying up of the Lake Chad as well as pervasive poverty.”
He lamented that: “Currently, some farmers are still living in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps, relying mostly on handouts and food aids to feed themselves and their families.
“Food security and nutrition programme is cross-cutting, and as such, the state committee on food and nutrition involving line ministries and agencies of the government to implement programmes geared towards tackling food insecurity and malnutrition challenges in the state.”
The commissioner said the committee would ensure joint planning, appropriate consultation for effective budgeting and resource allocation, coordinated implementation of work plans as well as joint monitoring and evaluation.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Chief of Field Office, United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Mr. Geoffrey Ijumba, lamented that food security and nutrition posed a challenge across the North-east region.
He decried that the region depends highly on aid, but it lacks access to land or other livelihood opportunities.
Ijumba said the committee is expected to advise on the formulation of appropriate strategies to cushion most of the shocks and effects of the crisis on nutrition and food security across the state.
Ijumba said: “Thanks to the support from our donors, namely: DFID, Japan, ECHO, Germany, Canada, Italy among others. We will continue to support the government in the provision of preventative and curative nutrition activities.”