‘Food crisis imminent in the north’

‘Food crisis imminent in the north’

Seven states in
northern Nigeria are at risk of lack of access to food and other basic
needs, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said at the

This is coming on
the heels of an earlier warning by the agency of impending food and
nutrition crisis nationwide, with a call for urgent action to prevent
an emergency and a possible disaster .

journalists at the weekend, the Director-General of the Agency,
Mohammed Audu- Bida, said statistics from its recent nationwide
research on food security show that the National Strategic Grains
Reserves is at the point of depletion, with only 105,000 metric tonnes
left. This is about 65,000 metric tonnes short of the expected target.

According to Mr.
Audu-Bida, the deteriorating food security conditions among pastoral
households and increased malnutrition among children in pastoral areas
are a worry to the agency.

He blamed the malnutrition on reduced food intake, especially of milk which was the major local source of protein .

He said the extreme
northern part of the country remains the greatest concern for food
insecurity, due to poor local production and competition with export to
Niger Republic.

The official said
the situation was made worse by severe shortfall in households basic
food requirements, resulting in significantly increased rates of acute
malnutrition and gradual destitution.

The seven states at greatest risk, according to the agency, are Kebbi, Jigawa, Yobe, Zamfara, Taraba, Borno and Sokoto.

Mr Audu-Bida,
however, said that even the southern states are not totally free from
the challenge, as poor households are facing rising food insecurity
occasioned by seasonal decline in food supplies as the peak of the
hunger season approaches.

He further lamented that malnutrition is killing many children in Nigeria.

“Vitamin A deficiency increase substantially the risk of dying from
the listed conditions as malaria, neonatal, pneumonia, measles,” he

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