According to Matthias Schmale, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, approximately 4 million Nigerians may suffer increased food shortages during the next dry season.
Schmale, who spoke at an advocacy event on food security and nutrition in North-East Nigeria in Abuja, said: “a total of 8.4 million Nigerians will require humanitarian assistance in the region, with 4.1 million people suffering from severe food insecurity”.
According the Coordinator, up to $351 million in humanitarian assistance is required to assist the people.
“Today, 8.4 million people require humanitarian help across North-East Nigeria,” he says. Disconcertingly, approximately half of those affected by the conflict, or 4.1 million people, are expected to experience severe food insecurity during the coming lean season.”
He noted that the gap between those in need and those receiving food and nutrition assistance was 1.8 million in 2021, but that number is expected to jump to 2.9 million this lean season due to reduced funding.
Food security and nutrition of the impacted population in the north remain a priority, according to Nadia Soso, Head of Special Duties, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.
He adds that the situation reflects a troubling image of the formidable power they are up against, noting that not only does one have to worry about one’s safety, but also about finding food and proper nutrition on a daily basis.
He said that every day is a challenge especially in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states, and that without immediate action, no relief is in sight. He added that financing is urgently needed to secure essential food and relief assistance as the gap between people in need and available resources widens.