Nigeria and UN Launch Urgent Appeal for US$306 Million to Combat Food and Nutrition Crisis in Three States

The Federal Government of Nigeria, in collaboration with national and international partners, has initiated a critical appeal to raise US$306 million in order to address the escalating food and nutrition crisis in the states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe (BAY) during the lean season spanning May to September.
The appeal, launched on May 14, 2024, is a response to a dire situation where 4.8 million people are facing severe food insecurity, marking a seven-year high in the region, with children, pregnant and lactating women, older persons, and people living with disabilities being the most severely affected.
The Government-led Cadre Harmonisé analysis, published in March this year, highlighted the urgent need for interventions to prevent malnutrition-related deaths and the adoption of negative coping mechanisms among the vulnerable population.
The crisis is primarily attributed to continued conflict and insecurity in the BAY states, alongside the adverse impacts of climate change, which have led to a staggering increase in the prices of staple foods like beans and maize, following the removal of the fuel subsidy and the depreciation of the naira.
Inflation is outpacing the ability of families to cope, making essential food items unaffordable.
In light of the alarming malnutrition rates, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Mohamed Malick Fall announced the release of $11 million from the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund to kickstart the emergency response.
UNICEF expressed deep concern over the escalating food security and nutrition crisis, reporting around 120,000 admissions for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition with complications, far exceeding the estimated target of 90,000.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) emphasized the need for urgent interventions to support both short- and long-term needs, focusing on building resilience through emergency agriculture and supporting local food solutions.
They also stressed the importance of improving access to clean water, sanitation facilities, and hygiene to combat the spread of infectious diseases among the more than 2 million internally displaced persons in camps and overcrowded settlements in the BAY states.
This appeal marks the fourth time that the UN and humanitarian partners have launched an operational plan for the BAY states, underlining the necessity to address the root causes of hunger and malnutrition.
The lean season food security and nutrition crisis multisector plan is part of the 2024 UN-coordinated Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria, aiming to provide food assistance, nutrition supplies, healthcare, and protection support to people in severe need during the lean season.
The joint effort by the Federal Government and international partners underscores the urgency of the situation and the commitment to preventing further suffering and deaths due to malnutrition and related complications.
The mobilization of resources and funding is crucial to addressing the immediate needs of the most vulnerable populations in the BAY states and working towards long-term solutions to mitigate the food and nutrition crisis.
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