About 24.8 million Nigerians in 26 states and the FCT could experience acute nutrition and food crisis between June and August following the lingering fuel and cash scarcity in the country. This prediction is according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)’s Cadre Harmonise (CH), a tool used by the Food Security Sector (FSS) partners to calculate food security and nutrition situation in a given location, within a certain period.

The CH is also a tool adopted by partners in the FSS, usually developed on request by the government as an early warning tool, to prevent and manage food and nutrition crises.

The process in Nigeria is led by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), through the National Programme for Food Security (NPFS) in collaboration with other government agencies.

The programme is with technical and financial support from the FAO, World Food Programme (WFP), Save the Children, UNICEF and Mercy Corps, among others.

According to the report, about 17.7 million people, including 14,000 IDPs in 26 states and the FCT, will be in serious crisis, or worse through May 2023.

The report, which pointed out the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Naira Re-design policy as one of the key drivers of the crisis, stated that the withdrawal of the old notes from circulation created serious bottlenecks to households’ ability to access cash, as well as food commodities.

“Insecurity, especially insurgency in the North East states, particularly in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, still persists. Armed banditry and kidnapping for ransom in some North West states such as Katsina, Sokoto and Kaduna, as well as the North Central states of Benue and Niger, have also lingered.

“Prolonged scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly called petrol, and the associated hike in its pump price across the states, has led to astronomical rise in transport fares and cost of food products in Nigerian markets.

“Consistent rising price of food commodities and agricultural inputs across Nigerian markets is one of the drivers of food insecurity.

“The general consumer price index shows an increase from 15.7 per cent in Feb. 2022, to 21.9 per cent in February 2023, that is a 39.49 per cent increase within just one year.”

The report further notes that food consumption level has remained inadequate and below the desired threshold across most of the states, and that in some local government areas (LGAs) in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, food consumption is so critical that they have fallen under the crisis phase.

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