Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: FOA Raises Alarm Over Food Security in Northern Nigeria

States in Northern Nigeria are in the Sahel whose inhabitants are part of the 11 million faced with severe food insecurity, the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FOA) has warned.

According to an online release signed by Peter Lowrey of the information department of the global body, "Poor families have used up their food stocks and are facing high food prices awaiting the next harvest.

"Of particular concern is the food security situation in northern Mali, northern Nigeria and neighbouring countries, where prices for coarse grains such as sorghum, millet and maize continue to increase.

"The nutritional status of children under five also remains worrisome, with a continuing high prevalence of acute malnutrition. Admissions to nutrition rehabilitation centres are close to 2012 levels, particularly in Chad, Mali, Niger and Nigeria. Over 1.4 million children are at risk of

severe malnutrition in 2013.

He added that, FAO is appealing to the international community to increase funding for aid to the most vulnerable farmers and herders in the region south of the Sahara.

"Despite an FAO appeal for a total of $113.1 million this year to support almost 6 million vulnerable people in the Sahel, only $19.4 million has been received, about 17 percent of the total.

"With the contributions received so far, FAO has been supporting 1.6 million farmers, agro-pastoralists and pastoralists," the release said.

The release said population displacement in parts of Northern Nigeria and Mali have caused more stress on host communities already affected by recent food and nutrition crises.

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