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FAO: 16 states in Nigeria face acute malnutrition, food insecurity

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The Food and Agriculture Organisation [FAO] on Friday raised alarm over the low food consumption level and malnutrition in 16 states of the country.

Food and Agriculture Organisation [FAO], on Friday, raised alarm over the low food consumption level and malnutrition in 16 states of Nigeria.

Dr. Louise Setshwaelo, the Country Representative of the organisation, stated this in Abuja at a stakeholder’s workshop to analyse the 2016 Food and Nutrition Security Situation in the nation’s 16 states.

Represented by Dr. Rabe Isa-Mani, the Assistant FAO Representative in Nigeria, Setshwaelo said that urgent assistance and intervention were needed from policy makers to tackle the problems.

The country representative noted that the situation would grow worse if nothing was done to address it within the next few years.

She listed the states affected to include Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Kebbi States.

Others are Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara, Niger and Plateau States.

The country representative said the situation was reflected in the data gathered during a study conducted in the states between September 2015 and 2016.

Setshwaelo appealed to the Federal Government to address the plights of citizens in those states and make provisions for them in the 2017 budget.

Setshwaelo said: “We started the study last year. 

“We are able to do a focused one for the North East and now we have expanded the coverage to other eight states.

“We have moved from the extreme northern states to the middle belt. 

“We are beginning to institutionalise the data collection and the analysis.

“The analysis gives you different levels of the vulnerability and to help policy makers make knowledge-based decisions.

“In addition to the food insecurity issue that was caused by insurgency, there are other food insecurity issues in the other parts of the country.”

Dr. Hanadan Mahalnoondon, the Coordinator, Permanent Inter-state Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel, said that the 16 states assessed were affected by insurgency.

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