FAO response to the crisis in northeast Nigeria

FAO response to the crisis in northeast Nigeria
Aug 2016

The Cadre Harmonisé report released on 19 August 2016 indicates that 4.5 million people are severely food insecure (Phase 3 to 5) in northeast Nigeria and require immediate assistance, an increase of 50 percent compared with March 2016. Over 65 000 people are classified in Phase 5 (Famine), while the number of those in Phase 4 (Emergency) as tripled since March 2016, reaching over 1 million. Hard-to-reach areas of Borno and Yobe States, where food insecurity has reached extreme levels, are of particular concern. Such a rapid deterioration of the food security situation is linked to conflict and displacement and to the lack of relevant food production in the last three years and the consequent depletion of household and market food stocks.

The emergency strategy of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is based on the hypothesis that strengthening capacity to rapidly restore food production among the different farming communities in affected areas will contribute significantly, not just to improving food security, but also to paving the road back to resilience and stability in the region. FAO is therefore focusing on: (i) mitigating the impact of the conflict on the livelihood crisis; and (ii) strengthening the resilience of communities affected by the crisis.

Given the severity of the situation, the need to urgently address the dramatic food security situation and the windows of opportunity offered by the opening of new areas, FAO has declared Nigeria an increased corporate support and mobilized accordingly. FAO capacity is currently being strengthened and internal resources are being mobilized to kick-start the response and support coordination efforts.

However, FAO’s activities remain constrained by a serious lack of funding. USD 10 million is needed now to provide agricultural inputs to IDPs and host families in time for the upcoming irrigated dry season and to support the livestock sector, in order to save the livelihoods of vulnerable rural households and improve food security. A renewed commitment from resource partners is needed to expand interventions to newly liberated areas rendered accessible to humanitarian assistance in recent months.