’82 Million Nigerians At Risk Of Hunger’ – UN Warns Of Impending Food Crisis

The United Nations has issued a stark warning that 82 million Nigerians, accounting for about 64% of the country’s population, could face hunger by 2030.

The UN has urged the Nigerian government to address climate change, pest infestations, and other threats to agricultural productivity to avert this crisis.

Naija News reports that this warning comes amid rising food prices in Nigeria.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the country’s food inflation rate reached a record high of 40.66% in May 2024, surpassing the previous month’s increase of 40.53%.

This marks the largest year-on-year rise in food prices since records began in 1996. Historically, Nigeria’s food inflation has averaged 13.42%, with the lowest rate of -17.50% recorded in January 2000.

In 2023, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) predicted that at least 2.6 million Nigerians in Borno, Sokoto, Zamfara states, and the FCT could face a food crisis between June and August 2024.

A government-led Cadre Harmonisé analysis released in March 2024 indicated that approximately 4.8 million people in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states are experiencing severe food insecurity, the highest level in seven years.

During the 2024 May Day celebrations, Organized Labour highlighted concerns over rising food prices and fuel scarcity, warning that the current situation threatens the survival of workers.

Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olisa Agbakoba, recently cautioned that a hunger riot could break out in Nigeria if the government fails to act swiftly.

At the launch of CropWatch in Abuja, the Resident Humanitarian Coordinator of the FAO, represented by UN official Taofiq Braimoh, stated, “The government of Nigeria, in collaboration with others, conducts an annual food security survey. This year’s results are alarming: approximately 22 million Nigerians will face food insecurity in 2023, and around 80-82 million are at risk of severe food insecurity by 2030.”

Braimoh emphasized that Nigeria, like many countries, faces challenges such as food insecurity, climate change, unreliable water patterns, pest infestations, and other threats to agricultural productivity.

He stressed the importance of leveraging technology to strengthen the agriculture sector and ensure food security, noting that satellite-based crop monitoring can provide real-time data on crop conditions, aiding farmers and policymakers in making informed decisions.

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