By Michael Olugbode
The United Nations (UN) has raised the alarm that 4.3 million people were facing hunger and food insecurity in troubled North-east.
This revelation came out of a high-level online briefing on the Humanitarian Situation in North-East Nigeria which was held yesterday.
The briefing was titled: “North-East Nigeria: Act Now, Avert the Worst,” which was facilitated by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadia Umar-Farouq and United Nations Resident Representative and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon.
The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator said: “Nigeria today, and particularly the conflict affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe – the so- called BAY states, are facing unprecedented challenges. A resurgence in violence continues to ravage entire communities eleven years into a protracted conflict. We are also facing extraordinary challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic – a global health crisis – that no country was adequately prepared for.”
He said: “A few years ago, our rapid joint mobilisation succeeded in reversing a situation where hundreds of thousands of people were on the verge of famine. Not only was famine averted, but many people who had seen their lives shattered by the conflict were starting to rebuild their lives and communities. There were hopes that we had turned a corner and we could start focusing on recovery and development.
“Today, these hard-won gains are in jeopardy. Ladies and gentlemen, as we speak, the number of people needing humanitarian assistance in the BAY states, is the highest ever recorded in the five years of a joint humanitarian response. At least 10.6 million people need our assistance to survive.
This is roughly the population of Belgium and twice the population of Norway.
“Despite tremendous efforts by the humanitarian community to feed over 2.5 million people, violent attacks continue preventing people from reaching their lands and rebuilding their livelihoods. Every year of the crisis, an additional one million people have become food insecure.