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UN warns of famine in Nigeria, seven other countries

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YEMEN, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, the Syrian Arab Republic, Sudan, South Sudan, and northern Nigeria have been identified as countries that may have most severe food crises in 2019.

According to a report on Food Crisis 2019, released yesterday in Brussels, these food crises were primarily driven by conflict and climate-related disasters.

“Large segments of populations in most of these countries risk falling into Emergency (IPC/CH Phase 4) levels of acute food insecurity,” it stated.

The report further added: “In the 16 states of northern Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory, the number of people in ‘Crisis’ and ‘Emergency’ decreased by 40 per cent between June and August 2017 and 2018 to 5.3 million.

“At  the peak of the lean season, three million were acutely food insecure in the three north-eastern states affected by the Boko Haram insurgency where protracted conflict and mass displacement disrupted agriculture, trade, markets, and livelihoods, and pushed up food prices,” said the report.

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)’s Director-General, José da Silva, said in spite of a slight drop in 2018 in the number of people experiencing acute food insecurity, “the figure is still far too high.”

“We must act at scale across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus to build the resilience of affected and vulnerable populations. To save lives, we also have to save livelihoods,” he added.

World Food Programme Executive Director, David Beasley, also said: “while critical to saving lives and alleviating human suffering, humanitarian assistance does not address the root causes of food crises…”

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