United Nations (UN) Emergency Relief Chief, Mark Lowcock has allocated a total of $15million emergency funding to address rising food insecurity in Northeast Nigeria.
A total of $100 million was allocated to stave off hunger in seven countries: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Yemen.
The world body said the crisis affecting Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states and the consequences of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is driving hunger to alarming levels.
UN declared that up to 5.1 million people risk being critically food insecure during the next lean season period of June to August 2021, according to the latest official food security assessment and projections.
“The humanitarian community is extremely worried by the rising food insecurity in north-east Nigeria. We are now recording levels of food insecurity similar to 2016-2017, at the peak of the humanitarian crisis, when the risk of famine was looming over the north-east.
“We are not at famine levels of food insecurity in Nigeria, but we must spare no efforts to scale up our actions and ensure that the situation does not deteriorate”, Edward Kallon, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria said in a statement on Tuesday.
According to findings released on 5 November from the Cadre Harmonisé analysis, the most comprehensive food security analytical framework for Nigeria, the food security situation is rapidly deteriorating.
Projections for the 2021 lean season indicate an increase of about 20 percent of people at risk of hunger compared to the 4.3 million food-insecure people projected in June 2020 for the same season.
“In the past, we have been able to avert food insecurity deteriorating into a famine by working together, pooling our resources, and scaling up our efforts” Kallon stressed.
“With adequate resources and improved access, we can save lives and curb the trend of rapidly deteriorating food insecurity. This funding from the Central Emergency Response Fund comes right on time to start scaling up these efforts and I appeal to the Member States to provide the resources we urgently need.”
At the end of September, aid workers had provided food to 3 million people in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe and multisectoral assistance to over 3.6 million people.
The UN Central Emergency Response Fund is a pooled fund in which donors preposition funds so that money is available immediately to kick-start relief operations in rapidly evolving emergencies and to provide life-saving assistance in crises that are underfunded.