Between August and October 2012, torrential rains led to devastating floods in several states, causing considerable human casualties and damage to crops, livestock and fisheries. High food prices, resulting from insecurity in the northeast and the disruption of agricultural and market activities, continue to burden vulnerable households in both rural and urban areas. Such disruptions also have wider repercussions, as Nigeria provides roughly half of West Africa’s food supply.
Through its 2013-2017 Country Programme Framework (CPF), FAO is providing technical assistance and supporting the Government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA). In line with nationally defined objectives, FAO is focused on increasing the resilience of vulnerable populations to climatic shocks and building capacities in national disaster risk reduction and management.
Improving household nutrition
Absolute poverty in the north is far higher than in the rest of the country, and many communities face food insecurity and chronic malnutrition. For much of the year, households depend largely on markets for their food supply, spending at least 50 percent of their income on food. FAO is promoting food-based interventions as a means to improve vulnerable households’ diets and overcome and prevent malnutrition, especially in children.
Recovery from the devastating floods in 2012 has been slow, and many communities remain food insecure. FAO is working to build resilience to climate change and drought by promoting conservation agriculture and the use of high-yielding, drought-resistant crop varieties in Nigeria’s Sahel states. FAO is also assisting the Government and other development partners in the development of an integrated disaster management response system, which will further enhance the resilience of communities to climate-related disasters.
Supporting Government-led initiatives
As part of its contribution to the ATA, FAO has supported the development of the Youth Employment in Agriculture Programme. In addition, FAO continues to support the National Programme on Food Security by providing managerial and technical advice, through frameworks such as the Technical Cooperation Among Developing Countries and South-South Cooperation. Through the CPF, priority has been given to strengthening national institutional capacities in disaster preparedness, contingency planning and the regular monitoring of food and nutrition security.
Nigeria has neither a structured early warning system nor a food crises prevention and management mechanism at the federal and state levels. In 2014, FAO aims to strengthen national early warning systems and raise public awareness at national and subnational levels on the rationale and methodology of these systems, as well as the use of food security vulnerability assessments and analyses.