Economy

Nigeria hunger crisis deepens, spills over into Lake Chad Basin

Some 7.1 million people are now severely food insecure across Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Friday 24 February 2017 | 12:48:24 PM

As conflict and instability continue, the food security situation in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin is deteriorating. Millions of families dependent on farming, livestock and fishing for their food and livelihoods are at great risk.

With the next planting season starting in May, and with scarcity of animal fodder and water points during the lean season, it is crucial that crop seeds, tools and livestock support reach families, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says. The present crisis involves Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.

Some 7.1 million people are now severely food insecure across the four countries. Among them are 515,000 children, who are suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

“In the worst-affected areas, famine continues to loom —and millions will remain trapped in cycles of severe hunger if we don’t enable farmers to start cropping now,” said Dominique Burgeon, director of FAO’s Emergency and Rehabilitation Division.

Crisis spilling across borders

Violence related to Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria has spilled over to parts of neighbouring countries in the Lake Chad Basin, specifically, Cameroon’s Far North, western Chad and southeastern Niger.

A total of US $ 232 million will be needed to secure food production and access to food for three million people in the worst-hit areas over the next three years.

Violence has driven millions across the four countries from their homes and hampered access to agricultural lands and assets.

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