The Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, of the United Nations, UN, has noted that although a significant number of Nigerians affected by the nine-year-old Boko Haram conflict in the Northeast have returned to their communities once destroyed by the insurgents, security threats by the armed terrorist group remain pervasive.
FAO disclosed this on Wednesday while presenting its Northeast Nigeria situation report for October, 2018 in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital. The UN agency said it has projected 2.9 million people to suffer severe food insecurity with a greater number of them, about 1.9 million, being internally displaced persons, IDPs, from across Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states in the Northeast.
It however stated that 1.7 million people are targeted to receive assistance. FAO pointed out that USD13.9 million is still needed for its activities towards meeting its target under the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Nigeria. “Already northeastern Nigerian farmers have begun harvesting cereal, vegetable and cash crops like cowpea, groundnut, and sesame under our programming following the provision of seeds and fertilizer to 112,500 household (about 790,000 people) in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states,” it said.
The agency explained that due to the influx of IDPs and the tensed security situation, host communities are facing reduced access to land and other resources for food production, leading to high levels of poverty and malnutrition. “The Northeast also faces severe climate variability, which negatively affects production systems resulting in reduced crop yields and livestock productivity with cascading effects on agricultural livelihoods. “The number of people facing acute food insecurity in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states has significantly reduced over the past year from 5.2 million between June and August 2017 to 2.9 million between June and August 2018,” FAO said.
It could be recalled that the states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe have faced a nine-year long conflict resulting in the massive displacement of people with significant human, social and economic losses and high-level of food insecurity particularly in Borno state.