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Hungry People to Reach 49.5 million in Nigeria, Other West and Central African Countries in August 2024-WFP

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Hungry People to Reach 49.5 million in Nigeria, Other West and Central African Countries in August 2024-WFP

By: Michael Mike

Hungry people in West and Central Africa including Nigeria may reach a staggering 49.5 million people between June and August 2024, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has raised the alarm.

The WFP in a statement on Tuesday said: Despite considerable efforts by governments and partners, food insecurity continues to worsen in West and Central Africa with the number of hungry people set to reach a staggering 49.5 million people between June and August 2024 – a four percent increase compared to 2023, according to a regional food security analysis which was released same day.

The statement read that: “The trend is particularly worrying in coastal countries, where the number of women, men, and children facing acute hunger (IPC/CH phases 3 or higher) is expected to reach 6.2 million during the June-August 2024 hunger gap – a 16 percent increase on last year. The November 2023 Cadre Harmonisé analysis projects cereal and tuber production throughout the region to be slightly above both last year’s levels and the 5-year average due to improved rains in 2023.”

According to the statement: Acute hunger in West and Central Africa is mainly driven by conflict – which has forcibly displaced millions of people from their homes and farms, the impact of the climate crisis, and high food and fuel prices. The prices of main foods remain well above the five-year average, particularly rice, corn, millet, sorghum, cassava and vegetable oil, despite seasonal declines in the prices of local commodities compared to last year.

The statement quoted WFP’s Acting Regional Director for Western Africa, Margot Vandervelden to have said:
“Acute hunger remains at record levels in the region, yet funding needed to respond is not keeping a pace; this is forcing WFP to scale back lifesaving assistance for those most affected in their hour of greatest need”, adding that: “Insufficient funding means the moderately hungry will be forced to skip meals and consume less nutritious food, putting them at risk of falling back into crisis or emergency phases, perpetuating the cycle of hunger and malnutrition. We need to break this circle by tackling the root causes of hunger and by building the resilience of families in West Africa.”

The statement added that the nutritional situation remains worrying, particularly in the Sahel, where emergency levels of child wasting were reached and surpassed in several countries this year, notably in parts of Mali, north-west Nigeria and Burkina Faso, it added that this was due to fragile food systems which do not deliver the specific nutritional needs of women and children; limited access to basic social services; and poor care and hygiene practices.

It noted that more than 2 out of 3 households in West and Central Africa cannot afford healthy diets. And 8 out of 10 children aged 6-23 months do not consume the minimum number of food groups they need for optimal growth and development. In the year up to the end of October 2023, 1.9 million children under five years were admitted for treatment of severe wasting across nine Sahel countries, representing a 20 percent increase as compared to the same period in 2022.

The UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Felicité Tchibindat said: “Children in West and Central Africa have a right to nutritious, safe, affordable and sustainable diets,” “We invest to prevent child malnutrition happening in the first place, but we also need funding to keep supporting government services for the early detection, treatment, and care of malnourished children to help them survive, recover, and go on to live healthy and productive lives with dignity.”

The statement stated that the cost of a daily nutritious diet in central Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger) is 110 percent higher than the daily minimum wage in the region, and more and more households rely on local markets to provide their food, even in rural areas, according to the 2023 Food security and Nutrition report. For comparison, the cost of healthy diet in Africa is as high as in the USA, despite the latter GDP being more than 35 times that in the Africa region.

To address the spiralling food insecurity and malnutrition, FAO, UNICEF and WFP called on national government and financial partners to prioritize programmes that strengthen climate resilient food systems and livelihoods and invest in social protection systems, and improve natural resource management, including water, as an accelerator of resilience and development.

Participants in the Cadre Harmonisé food security analysis also recommended timely development and implementation of emergency programmes that address immediate food and nutritional needs of populations experiencing crisis and emergency levels of food insecurity and malnutrition (IPC/CH phases 3 to 5). This will not only save lives, but also prevent the risk of malnutrition among children in areas most affected by insecurity and economic crises including in Burkina Faso, Chad, DRC, Mali, Nigeria and Niger.

“With the persistence of food and nutritional insecurity, we must act urgently to save millions of lives by advocating for the acceleration of resource mobilization to finance national response plans and facilitate access to areas facing insecurity or difficult to access, particularly in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Nigeria”, said FAO Sub-Regional Coordinator for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr. Robert Guei.

The Cadre Harmonisé analysis also showed an estimated 94 million people in West and Central Africa under food security “Stress” (IPC/CH phase 2) between October and December 2023. Left without support, these communities are at risk of shifting to “crisis” and “emergency” (IPC/CH phases 3 and 4) levels of hunger tomorrow.

Hungry People to Reach 49.5 million in Nigeria, Other West and Central African Countries in August 2024-WFP

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Oil Theft: NUJ Confers Meritorious Internal Security Award on Tompolo

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Oil Theft: NUJ Confers Meritorious Internal Security Award on Tompolo

By: Michael Mike

The Nigeria Union of Journalists has conferred its Internal Security Meritorious Award on the Chairman of Tantita Security Services, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo.

The national President of the NUJ, Chief Chris Isiguzo, said that the award was in recognition of the sterling contribution of Tompolo and his firm, TSSL, to the critical campaign against crude oil theft in the country.

Recently, Tantita Security Services Limited working alongside the Navy, the Police, the NSCDC, and others has, intensified the campaign against the theft of the nation’s oil resources arresting and ensuring the forfeiture of vessels used in the committing the crime.

Isiguzo led the national leadership of the NUJ to confer the award on Tompolo in Oporoza, Gbaramatu Kingdom, Delta State on Saturday.

He stressed that the country would have been in some trouble without the patriotic efforts of Tompolo.

Isiguzo said that this was the first time the NUJ in its history would be conveying the Internal Security Meritorious Award of the union on anybody.

The NUJ leader explained further that the Internal Security Meritorious was the only ward approved during its National Security Conference in Abuja and it was given to Tompolo.

He said, “Somebody has risen to the occasion and gathered an array of young men who have taken it upon themselves to help this country continue to survive as a peaceful nation, united and continue to fend for its people.

“And that is the man that has, to a very large extent, substantially, helped us address the issue of crude oil theft.

“That is one thing that has occupied our national life over time. By his commitment, dedication and diligence, Nigeria, as a country, has to a very large extent, reduced the activities of men of the underworld who have consistently engaged in pilfering, taking our common patrimony for their personal gains.

“The NUJ, having assessed the activities of TSSNL, has decided that we must accord the necessary recognition to the man who carries the flag, birthed this security organization, who has exceptionally distinguished himself.

“The NUJ has come to the Oporoza Community in Gbaramatu Kingdom to honour a distinguished son of the Niger Delta; a general in his own right who has distinguished himself, ensures and maintains an appreciable level of internal security.

“We have come to confer on him, the Internal Security Meritorious Award of the Nigeria Union of Journalists.

“In the course of the national security conference, held in Abuja, only one award had been approved and it is conferred on Dr Government Ekpemupolo.

“I’m also excited that I’m doing this after 61 years of the existence of the NUJ, this award is coming up at this time.

“It is not just an honour to Tompolo but also an honour to me too. It is an honour to all of us and what that means is that the issue of insecurity is not just the responsibility of government but of every Nigerian.

“When you provide information, and intelligence to security operatives and agencies, you have contributed in some measures to reducing the problem of insecurity in the land.

“So, it is a collective responsibility, and all hands must be on deck to ensure we address our problems.

“If Nigeria is peaceful, every part of the country, including your household, will be peaceful and that will give birth to development and progress.

He recalled that the Union’s National Security Conference meant to examine the worsening security situation in the country was attended by former Inspector General of Police, and Chairman Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Dr. Solomon Arase, the Minister of the FCT, Nyesom Wike, and a diverse segment of Nigerians.

Isiguzo said that a position paper of the conference on the issue of security will be transmitted to President Bola Tinubu.

In his reaction, the Tantita Security Services Limited restated his promise to end the criminal theft of the nation’s crude oil resources in the Niger Delta region.

He stressed that the country was in serious need of concerted support to stop the activities of those sabotaging the economy for personal gains.

The NUJ President had in his entourage, the National Secretary of NUJ Shuaibu Leman and Delta state NUJ chairman, Churchill Oyowe and others.

Oil Theft: NUJ Confers Meritorious Internal Security Award on Tompolo

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Palestine Envoy Decries Killing of 29,878 in ongoing Gaza war

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Palestine Envoy Decries Killing of 29,878 in ongoing Gaza war

Raises Alarm over Impending Famine, Humanitarian Catastrophe

By: Michael Mike

No fewer than 29,878 people have been killed in the ongoing Israeli -Palestinian war, the Palestinian Ambassador to Nigeria, Abdullah M. Abu Shawesh has decried.

The envoy who expressed concern over possible famine and outbreak of epidemics in Gaza, told Diplomatic Correspondents over the weekend in Abuja, that 70,215 people have been injured and around 8,000 people still missing under the rubble since the 7 October 2023 siege on Gaza by the Israeli military began.

He said: “As of yesterday, the death toll in the Gaza Strip was 29,878 martyrs, with 70,215 injuries and around 8,000 people still missing under the rubble.

“The Ministry of Education declared that in the last 144 days, 5427 students were martyred, 5379 in Gaza and 48 in the OWB, while 9193 were injured, 8888 in Gaza and 305 in the occupied West Bank, (OWB), 97 was arrested in the OWB, including East Jerusalem. 255 teachers and administrative staff were martyred and 891 were injured in the Gaza strip.

“286 government schools and 65 UN schools were subjected to bombardments and sabotage, with 40 of them completely destroyed in Gaza, while 57 schools in the OWB were attacked and sabotaged by the IOF. 620,000 students in Gaza are still deprived of the right to learn, while the majority of students are suffering from trauma and facing devastating health situations.”

He alleged that Israel’s authorities have hidden agenda, which is to make Gaza inhabitants uncomfortable living in their homeland.

He said, “The clear policy is to make Gaza an unlivable place after the war, so that even if the inhabitants are not forced to leave under the fire, they will do so voluntarily due to the lack of hospitals, schools, universities, drinkable water, and other basic necessities for human life.”

The envoy also alleged that within last 144 days, “more than 7270 in the OWB, 228 women, 460 children, 56 of journalists and issued more than 3,800 administrative detention orders.”

He also added, “Eleven of the detainees martyred in the Israeli prisons due to the torture and ill treatment. All this is only from the OWB including East Jerusalem.
“There is no specific number or information about the detention cases of Gaza and Israel is still hiding all the information about them.”

The total number of the Palestinian prisoners on the Israel detention camps is now around 9000 including 3484 administrative detainees.

He equally alleged that more than 200 fanatic Israeli settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque guarded by the occupation force where they performed Talmudic ritual, insisting that meanwhile, the occupation authorities continue to impose restrictions on the Muslim worshiper’s entry to Al-Aqsa preventing all the young men and boys from entering while subjecting all others to be extensively checks.

He added that: “We still insist that the Israeli fanatic and messianic regime is spared no efforts igniting a religious war that if erupted will spare no one.”

Palestine Envoy Decries Killing of 29,878 in ongoing Gaza war

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NEMA deny looting of its warehouse on Sunday in Abuja

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NEMA deny looting of its warehouse on Sunday in Abuja

By: Manzo Ezekiel

The attention of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has been drawn to media reports on Sunday alleging that the Agency’s warehouse was looted by some hoodlums in Abuja.

This is to clarify that the looted warehouse does not belong to NEMA. However, the Agency sympathizes with owners of the looted facility.

To forestall any security breach at NEMA facilities, the Director General Mustapha Habib Ahmed has directed Zonal Directors and Heads of Operations to strengthen security in and around the Agency’s offices and warehouses nationwide.

NEMA deny looting of its warehouse on Sunday in Abuja

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