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UN raises the alarm, sets up Task Force on food crisis in North East, says its worst outlook in 4 years

… Needs $250m to help hardest-to-reach people to receive the food they need

… To collaborate with aid organizations to address food insecurity in Northern Nigeria

… That $1bn will be needed to implement a humanitarian response plan in the North

WORRIED by the looming food insecurity in the north-eastern part of Nigeria due to the activities of Boko Haram insurgents and general insecurity, the UN said it has set up a task force to combat the food crisis in the area. Describing the situation as the “worst outlook in four years” the UN said it would collaborate with other aid organisations to address food insecurity in northern Nigeria. It further explained that the plan needs a whopping sum of $250 million and aims to help the hardest-to-reach people to receive the food they need, and that over $1 billion will be needed to implement the humanitarian response plan in northern Nigeria.

Spokesman for the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, Stéphane Dujarric who disclosed this to correspondents at the UN headquarters in New York said the taskforce will be working with the Nigerian government to address the food crisis in the region. “Our humanitarian colleagues in Nigeria tell us that we, along with aid organisations in the country, have formed a task force to respond to increasing food insecurity in the northeast part of Nigeria. “The task force is working with the government to implement a comprehensive plan to address food security, nutrition, health, protection, and water, sanitation and hygiene, he explained.

According to him, only one-third of the fund has been raised. Guterres, who spoke through Farhan Haq, his deputy spokesman, said sustained funding will be needed to avert a food crisis in the zone. “Our humanitarian colleagues warned that without sustained funding, millions of people in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, Northeast Nigeria will struggle to feed themselves,” Guterres said. He said millions of people in the three states will struggle to feed themselves during the lean season owing to conflict, COVID-19, high food prices and the effects of climate change.

According to him, an estimated 4.4 million people, including internally displaced people, are expected to face critical food shortages, with 775,000 people being at extreme risk of catastrophic food insecurity. “This is the worst outlook in four years,” he added. “The humanitarian community is working with the government and local authorities to scale up the distribution of food in high-risk areas, but a surge in violence targeting aid workers and assets has made this difficult. “Our colleagues tell us that 8.7 million people in Nigeria need urgent assistance, including 2.2 million displaced people”, he added.

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