There is a looming famine in Nigeria’s North-east region
There is a global outrage over the food crisis, which started as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency
The region’s projections by international bodies are scary to say the least
Peter Lundberg, United Nations (UN) Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, on April 25 raised an alarm that the aid organizations working in northeast Nigeria will run out of cash by June if pledges made by the international donors at a February conference in Oslo are not paid.
The UN Office for the Coordinaton for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that 4.7 million people in Nigeria are in need of food for survival, many of whom are victims of Boko Haram.
It also projects that some seven million people are in need of multiple forms of humanitarian assistance. The UN estimates that 43,800 are already experiencing famine.
Currently the World Food Programme (WFP) is providing rations to 1.3 million people a month, according to Lundberg. Separate from Lundberg’s comments, the WFP said that its funds would run out within weeks, according to Reuters.
At Oslo, international donors pledged $457 million toward the $1.5 billion the UN estimates it needs to address the humanitarian disaster in the Lake Chad Basin.
However, Lundgren reports that in Nigeria aid agencies have received only 19 percent of the money asked for, in Cameroon agencies have received 23 percent, in Chad 4 percent, and in Niger 47 percent. Due to the size of its population, Nigeria has by far the greatest number of people facing potential starvation.
During the conference, donors pledged only about a third of the money the UN estimates is required to meet the Lake Chad humanitarian disaster, while the United States pledged no new money at all.
Writing on foreignpolicy.com, former US ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell says slow payment is an old song with respect to pledges,adding that it often reflects national bureaucratic and other requirements.
He wrote: ”The UN number of 4.7 million in Nigeria needing rations to survive is higher than the more frequently cited estimate of 2.5 million (a figure in reference to those internally displaced by Boko Haram).
”However, given the destruction of northeast Nigeria, and the depths of its poverty even in the best of times, such statistics seem credible.The UN notes that it is unable to reach some 700,000 because of ongoing Boko Haram activities.
”It remains to be seen when or if the American public will be galvanized by the famine, and whether it will demand greater proactivity from its federal government with regards to the crises.”
Cadre Harmonised report has revealed that about 7 million people in 16 northern states of Nigeria will face severe food insecurity if adequate measures were not taken to addressing the security challenges and climatic situation in the states.
This was disclosed at the National Consolidation Workshop on the Cadre Harmonise of the Food and Nutrition Insecurity Analysis in 16 states in the Northern Nigeria.