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About 26.5 million may grapple with food insecurity in 2024- Report

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About 26.5 million may grapple with food insecurity in 2024- Report

By: Michael Mike

About 26.5 million Nigerians may grapple with high level of food insecurity in 2024, according to 2023 Cadre Harmonisé analysis on food insecurity.

This figure was released by the Government of Nigeria and its partners during the unveiling of the October 2023 Cadre Harmonisé analysis on food insecurity.

Also, approximately 9 million children are at risk of suffering from acute malnutrition or wasting. Of these, an alarming 2.6 million children could face Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and require critical nutrition treatment.

The Cadre Harmonisé, an initiative focused on food and nutrition analysis, conducts studies biannually (in March and October) across 26 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). With the Government’s leadership and the United Nations (UN) system’s support, the latest projection for 2024 indicates a sharp rise from the 18.6 million people currently vulnerable to food insecurity from October to December 2023.

According to the report, several factors are driving this trend, including ongoing conflicts, climate change impacts, escalating inflation, and rising costs of both food and essential non-food commodities (in part due to the devaluation of the naira and the discontinuation of the fuel subsidy), adding that persistent violence in the north-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe (BAY) hinders food availability and access, with additionally, armed banditry and kidnappings in northwest and north-central states, including Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna, Benue, and Niger, exacerbate the prevailing economic struggles.

According to a joint press statement on Friday by the World Food Programme, FAO, UNICEF, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, underscored the significance of the Cadre Harmonisé during a presentation in Abuja.

Represented by Mrs. Fausat Lawal, Director of Special Duties, Umekhihe highlighted that despite Government efforts, external challenges like the ongoing global economic effects of COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war, which disrupts food systems, persist.

Of the 18.6 million people who experience food insecurity today, 3.3 million live in the northeastern states of the BAY region. This number might rise to 26.5 million nationwide by the height of the 2024 lean season ( and to 4.4 million in the BAY states) if immediate action is not taken.

The FAO Representative ad interim in Nigeria and to ECOWAS, Dominique Koffy Kouacou, while calling on the Government to expand CH coverage to the remaining 10 states said, FAO would continue to support the Government and the people of Nigeria to overcome food insecurity and malnutrition.

He stated that: “In 2024, alongside our partners, FAO’s focus will be on agrifood systems transformation with deliberate attention on resilience-building, nutrition-sensitive agriculture, livestock, fisheries, and providing extension services.”

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that floods in October 2023 in Adamawa impacted around 8,500 households, leading to mass displacements, particularly among women, children, and the elderly. Such extreme weather patterns, linked to the El Niño phenomenon, are further undermining food security.

“Food insecurity and malnutrition are among the main drivers of humanitarian need in the BAY states,” said the head of OCHA in Nigeria, Mr. Trond Jensen.

“People have been forced to adopt negative coping mechanisms such as survival sex and child labour to stay alive. Over the past year, dozens of farmers have lost their lives, and others have been abducted or injured while eking out a living outside the security perimeters of Borno’s garrison towns due to limited farming lands and few or no livelihood options.”

UNICEF’s Country Representative, Ms. Cristian Munduate, emphasized the urgent need for action. She said, “Every child deserves proper nutrition and a life free from hunger. It’s not merely a responsibility but a moral duty for governments and the global community to ensure these rights are upheld.”

Highlighting the long-standing issue, WFP’s Country Representative, David Stevenson,said: “The hunger crisis in Nigeria, fueled by the ongoing conflict in the northeast, needs urgent addressing. Restoring peace in the northeast is critical for us to build pathways to production and achieve the northeast’s potential as the food basket of the country”.

Trend analysis for the northeastern states indicates consistently high or rising food insecurity levels since 2018. Over 4 million people have needed urgent assistance annually since June 2020.

The United Nations urges the Nigerian Government, donors, and stakeholders to commit resources and implement measures to avert a potential food and nutrition disaster, emphasizing the need for immediate support across the nation.

The Cadre Harmonisé analysis covered 26 of Nigeria’s 36 states, including the FCT. It represents a collaborative effort led by the Nigerian government, in association with regional technical agencies, UN bodies, and NGOs. The Cadre Harmonisé serves as a comprehensive tool to evaluate present and future food and nutrition scenarios.

About 26.5 million may grapple with food insecurity in 2024- Report

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Hardship: Zulum addresses IDPs threatening to go to bush, says I can’t do more

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Hardship: Zulum addresses IDPs threatening to go to bush, says I can’t do more

By: Our Reporter

Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, on Sunday, said his administration cannot do more regarding distributing food items to internally displaced persons and vulnerable residents.

Zulum stated this in Mafa while addressing a group of internally displaced persons who have protested, threatening to go to the bush where Boko Haram terrorists camped.

The governor expressed displeasure over the action, and he said, “Yesterday, I received a report that some IDPs in Dikwa have protested that they will return to the bush because we could not provide food for them. This afternoon, others in Mafa have also done the same.”

Zulum said, “In the last couple of years, we have consistently provided food to internally displaced and vulnerable people. Believe me, what we are doing is even beyond our capacity.

“In the last four years, the Government of Borno State spent nothing less than N40b to provide food and non-food items to the people of the state.”

The governor said, “No government, be it state or federal, has the capacity to provide food to everyone and let me categorically state that I cannot do more than this,”

“The hardship we are facing is not only in Borno State but all over Nigeria. There are economic crises in all parts of the world. No state in Nigeria is doing better in the distribution of palliative than Borno,” Zulum stated.

He added, “We distributed food to IDPs and vulnerable communities every quarter. However, with the improvement in the security situation, we decided to reduce the number of our distribution because people have started earning their livelihood.”

“Most of you here (more than 80%) now have access to agricultural land, and I believe you have cultivated your farmlands and harvested your farm produce.”

“Both state and federal governments spend huge amounts of money on security. We have realised substantial progress in terms of development and security. Let me be frank with you that we will not condone mischievous acts by anyone.

The governor expressed gratitude to the federal government for providing the needed support to attain substantial peace in Borno State.

Hardship: Zulum addresses IDPs threatening to go to bush, says I can’t do more

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Disputed Business and Investment Forum Now to Hold During President Tinubu’s Official Visit to Qatar- Embassy

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Disputed Business and Investment Forum Now to Hold During President Tinubu’s Official Visit to Qatar- Embassy

By: Michael Mike

The disputed Business and Investment Forum (BIF) planned during the proposed official visit of President Bola Tinubu to Qatar is now going to hold, the Embassy of Qatar in Nigeria has revealed in an official correspondence with Nigeria’s ministry of foreign affairs.

It would be recalled that a leak official correspondence between The Qatari government and Nigeria’s ministry of foreign affairs last week had said the forum would not be holding during Nigeria’s President planned visit on March 2 and 3 due to the lack of a legally binding agreement between Qatar and Nigeria for the promotion of investment.

The leaked correspondence had also said Qatar’s ministry of commerce had other commitments on the days Nigeria’s president desired to visit.

Qatar further stressed that its commerce and industry minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim al-Thani “will be carrying out official missions outside the country during the upcoming visit period” which makes him unavailable to meet with the Nigerian side for business and investment purpose.

The country also added that its officials would be too busy because Qatar was hosting its own “web summit” the same time Nigeria’s president planned to visit.

“The State of Qatar will be hosting a web summit during the suggested period and the state’s authorities will be preoccupied with this event,” the letter stated.

But in the latest correspondence between the Embassy of Qatar in Nigeria and the Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated that the Qatar Chamber of Commerce will host the event on 3rd March 2024, as proposed by the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

In the correspondence, the Embassy said it was glad to convey the readiness of Qatar Chamber of Commerce to host the forum to the Nigerian government.

Reacting to the latest correspondence in a statement on Sunday, the Special Adviser to Amb. Yusuf Tuggar, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alkasim Abdulkadir said the clarification has become necessary to clear deliberate misinformation and misrepresentations in the media on the purported cancellation of the event.

Disputed Business and Investment Forum Now to Hold During President Tinubu’s Official Visit to Qatar- Embassy

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Council of European Union’s Africa Working Group Begins 4-day Visit to Nigeria

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Council of European Union’s Africa Working Group Begins 4-day Visit to Nigeria

By: Michael Mike

Members of the Council of European Union’s Africa Working Party (COAFR) have arrived in Abuja to begin a four-day working visit to the country.

During the visit taking place from 26-29 February 2024, the COAFR members will engage with Nigerian authorities, government agencies, civil society groups, regional and international organisations and private sector actors in Abuja and in Lagos.

According to a statement on Sunday by the European Union in Nigeria, the Africa Working Party (COAFR) is mandated with the supervision and management of EU external policy towards the 46 countries of the sub-Saharan Africa, the African Union and other sub-regional organisations, including ECOWAS.

The Africa Working Party (COAFR) is composed of representatives of all 27 EU Member States, chaired by a permanent member of the European External Action Service (EEAS), and assisted by representatives of the Commission and the General Secretariat of the Council. It works under the auspices of the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council (FAC), itself composed of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defense and/or development of the 27 Member States of the European Union.

The statement said in Abuja, the visiting COAFR members will meet with key Federal Government ministries and agencies starting from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Office of the National Security Adviser, the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, among others.

They will also have an interactive session with the ECOWAS Commission on regional developments and integration processes.
In Lagos, the COAFR is expected to meet with the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Consuls General of EU Member States, and the leadership of the European Business Chamber (EuroCham) Nigeria.

They will also visit several EU-funded projects in the state featuring digital and innovation, critical infrastructure and connectivity and migration. Deliberations during the meetings will centre on further boosting EU-Nigeria partnership.

The Africa Working Party’s (COAFR) visits to African countries aim at promoting direct contact, mutual information exchange and feedback between the political and foreign policy organs of the European Union and their African counterparts. They play an important role on taking stock of state and non-state actors views, perspectives, aspirations and expectations regarding their partnership with the European Union, its closest neighbour and its sister continent.

The team will commence a similar visit to the neighbouring Republic of Benin at the end of its current mission in Nigeria.

According to the statement, this is the group’s first-ever working visit to Nigeria, noting that in addition to the representatives of 17 EU Member States also officials from EU institutions, are expected to be in the team.

The statement further revealed that this year’s working visit will be the eleventh visit of the COAFR to the African continent, and the third visit to West Africa – following earlier visits to Senegal and Burkina Faso (2015) and Ivory Coast and Ghana (2019).

It said more than ever before, several top EU officials have visited Nigeria in recent years and months, underlining the importance the EU accords its partnership with the country.

Last October, the EU’s Commissioner for International Partnership, Ms. Jutta Urpilainen, her counterpart for Energy, Ms. Kadri Simson, led other top officials to participate in the EU-Nigeria Strategic Dialogue Meeting held Abuja. The Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Ms Helena Konig, and the Managing Director, Africa at the EEAS, Ms. Rita Laranjinha, were also in the country shortly before then, following the visits in 2022 of European Commission’s Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager in February 2022, EU and Member States Maritime Security Coordinators in April 2022 and senior officials of the European Commission in charge of Energy and Home Affairs.
is mandated with the supervision and management of EU external policy towards the 46 countries of the sub-Saharan Africa, the African Union and other sub-regional organisations, including ECOWAS.

The Africa Working Party (COAFR) is composed of representatives of all 27 EU Member States, chaired by a permanent member of the European External Action Service (EEAS), and assisted by representatives of the Commission and the General Secretariat of the Council. It works under the auspices of the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council (FAC), itself composed of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defense and/or development of the 27 Member States of the European Union.

In Abuja, the visiting COAFR members will meet with key Federal Government ministries and agencies starting from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Office of the National Security Adviser, the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, among others. They will also have an interactive session with the ECOWAS Commission on regional developments and integration processes.

In Lagos, the COAFR is expected to meet with the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Consuls General of EU Member States, and the leadership of the European Business Chamber (EuroCham) Nigeria.

They will also visit several EU-funded projects in the state featuring digital and innovation, critical infrastructure and connectivity and migration. Deliberations during the meetings will centre on further boosting EU-Nigeria partnership.

The Africa Working Party’s (COAFR) visits to African countries aim at promoting direct contact, mutual information exchange and feedback between the political and foreign policy organs of the European Union and their African counterparts. They play an important role on taking stock of state and non-state actors views, perspectives, aspirations and expectations regarding their partnership with the European Union, its closest neighbour and its sister continent. The team will commence a similar visit to the neighbouring Republic of Benin at the end of its current mission in Nigeria.

This is the group’s first-ever working visit to Nigeria. In addition to the representatives of 17 EU Member States also officials from EU institutions, are expected to be in the team. This year’s working visit will be the eleventh visit of the COAFR to the African continent, and the third visit to West Africa – following earlier visits to Senegal and Burkina Faso (2015) and Ivory Coast and Ghana (2019).
More than ever before, several top EU officials have visited Nigeria in recent years and months, underlining the importance the EU accords its partnership with the country. Last October, the EU’s Commissioner for International Partnership, Ms. Jutta Urpilainen, her counterpart for Energy, Ms. Kadri Simson, led other top officials to participate in the EU-Nigeria Strategic Dialogue Meeting held Abuja. The Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Ms Helena Konig, and the Managing Director, Africa at the EEAS, Ms. Rita Laranjinha, were also in the country shortly before then, following the visits in 2022 of European Commission’s Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager in February 2022, EU and Member States Maritime Security Coordinators in April 2022 and senior officials of the European Commission in charge of Energy and Home Affairs.

Council of European Union’s Africa Working Group Begins 4-day Visit to Nigeria

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