• Sunday, May 26, 2024
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32 million Nigerians to face acute hunger between June, August in 2024, says IRC

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32 million Nigerians will face acute hunger in the lean season between June and August 2024, according to the latest report by the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

The report noted that 16 per cent of Nigeria’s population will suffer from acute food hunger between June and August, surpassing the value recorded in the same period of 2023.

Nearly 52 million people in the 17 countries analysed in Western and Central Africa, including Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Togo, are projected to face severe food hunger in the period under review.

“Looking ahead, the projected outlook for the period June-August 2024 appears even more severe: nearly 52 million people across the 17 analysed countries are anticipated to face phases 3 to 5 during the lean season of June-August,” the report said.

The lean season is usually characterised by delined food production, however, Nigerians will face an unusual decline this year, according to the IRC report.

“Delving deeper, 6 out of the 17 countries, including Nigeria, are expected to have over 16 per cent of their analysed population in a crisis or worse situation during June-August 2024,” it added.

Northern Nigeria, especially Sokoto, reveal unacceptable high levels of wasting in children under 5 years and acute malnutrition among women between 15-49-year-old.

“In Northern Nigeria, and Senegal, admissions for severe wasting increased by 16 per cent in 2023 compared to 2022.”

The report said that inadequate access to food production areas affected by Nigeria’s insecurity prevalent in the country’s agricultural sector, further escalates this food scarcity dilemma.

“Persistent conflicts and economic challenges amplify food and nutrition security crisis in West and Central Africa,” the international report stated.

It noted that “prices of essential cereal staples continue to increase, with increments ranging from 10 to over 100 per cent,” implying Nigeria’s rising food inflation is also a driver of the projected 32 million people who will grapple with acute hunger between June and August.