Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Food security: NGO Urges FG, States, LGs To Urgently Prioritise Needs Of Nigerian Children

…15.6 Million Nigerian Children May Face Starvation

By Justina Auta

Country Director of Save the Children International (SCI) Nigeria, Mr. Duncan Harvey has urged the Federal, State and Local Governments to take urgent action by collaborating to transform food production and prioritise the needs of Nigerian children.
Harvey, made the call following the release of a report released by SCI on Tuesday.

In the report, the organisation raised concerns over children’s welfare as 15. 6 million or one in six Nigerian children may go hungry as kidnappings, conflict and increase in food prices increases.

He said: ”if nothing is done, armed groups will continue to carry out brutal attacks, drive up food prices, and push more families to starvation.”
He, therefore, called on governments at all levels to focus on transforming food production and distribution and to incentivise farmers to grow crops that are resistant to climate change.
The country director also called for greater collaboration between governments, development and humanitarian organisations, climate groups, and the private sector.
” No sector or intervention alone can respond to the many causes and vulnerabilities leading to food and nutrition insecurity, but combined, the impact will be more effective, efficient and at scale,”he said
Harvey said the organisation’s analysis of figures released by the Cadre Harmonisé, a regional framework to identify food and nutrition insecurity in the Sahel and West Africa showed that the children were facing hunger in the lead up to the lean season starting in June.

The analysis, he said, also showed that the number of hungry children is 25 per cent higher than the same period in 2023.

This, he attributed to increasing insecurity, protracted conflict, banditry and rising food prices.
“The analysis shows almost 32 million people in Nigeria, including 15.6 million children, will face crisis levels of hunger between June and August unless food and cash assistance is received.
“While these months between harvests are when hunger typically peaks in Nigeria, a quarter more children are set to go hungry compared to 2023.
“This suggests that over 3.4 million additional children on average 9,000 a day – have been plunged into hunger in the last year .
“Violent killings, attacks and kidnappings by non-state armed groups and bandits in the country’s north have affected food production, disrupted local markets and caused farmers to flee their farms.”
Harvey added that an already dire hunger situation in the country was gradually going from bad to worse as violence, insecurity and rising prices combine to leave over 15 million children hungry in Nigeria.

According to him, hunger exists nationwide, but the situation in the north where violence is rife is particularly dire in Borno, Yobe, Katsina and Zamfara as one in three children do not know where their next meal will come from. (NAN)

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