$32 million dollars is said to be needed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) as support to farmers during May farming season in Nigeria’s Lake Chad Basin region.
The Director of FAO’s Emergency and Rehabilitation Division, Dominique Burgeon, made the request on Friday in Abuja. He said that the food security situation in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin was drastically deteriorating due to conflict and instability in the area.
232 million dollars would be needed to secure food production and access to food for three million people in the worst-hit areas over the next three years, Burgeon said. Emphasizing that the majority of the requested funds which is about 191 million dollars will be used for Nigeria, which is bearing the brunt of the crisis.
He called for urgent and quick action from the international community to protect the livelihoods of millions of families dependent on farming, livestock and fishing for their food and livelihoods, which he said FAO stands for.
“It is crucial that crop seeds, tools and livestock support reach families urgently to limit the scope of the deepening crisis that now involves four countries: Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. “Some 7.1 million people are now severely food insecure across the four countries.
“Among them are 515 000 children, who are suffering from severe acute malnutrition a condition which, if untreated can lead to permanent damage in a child’s development and even death,” he said.
While emphasizing on emergency farming he said assistance must go hand in hand with food assistance for it to be successful throughout the upcoming lean season. “This way, they will be able to restore and protect their livelihoods and farming assets for on-going food production,” he said.
He hinted that FAO was collaborating with the World Food Programme to ensure vulnerable families, mainly Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and host communities received food assistance, through this, was to help them have agriculture-based livelihood support in the form of provision of seeds, tools and fertilizer.