By Ginika Okoye
Abuja – UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) have appealed to the government at all levels to increase humanitarian interventions in the North East by supporting agricultural production.
They made call in Abuja on Friday via recommendations at a stakeholders meeting to examine the results of the Cadre Harmonise analysis of food and nutrition insecurity in Nigeria.
Mr Suffyan Koroma, the FAO Country Representative, said that immediate actions on the implementation of the recommendation would help to strengthen food and nutrition security among vulnerable populations in the area.
Koroma, who was represented by Mr Patrick David, the Programme Liaison Officer, FAO Nigeria, said that increased humanitarian interventions would also aid efforts to save lives and protect livelihoods in the region.
Ms Myrta Kaulard, the Country Director and Representative WFP in Nigeria, said that no fewer than 300 data collectors drawn from the Federal Ministries of Budget and National Planning and Agriculture collated the data for the analysis.
She said that the Cadre Harmonise programme was aimed at reaching over 22,000 households in 16 states and the FCT.
Kaulard pledged WFP’s commitment to efforts to achieve food and nutrition security in Nigeria, particularly in the North East.
Dr Bukar Hassan, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that the harmonisation process was to guide the government in decision making, especially in the area of food and nutrition.
Hassan, who was represented by Alhaji Auwal Maidabino, the Director of Planning and Policy Coordination in the ministry, said that the Federal Government, through the ministry, had been part of interventions aimed at improving household and food security in the North East.
He said that the Federal Government would take appropriate actions on the implementation of the recommendations and the outcome of the analysis so as to ensure improved food security in the region.
“Our gathering here today is essentially to listen to the presentation of the outcome of the Cadre Harmonise process, with a view to taking appropriate actions and interventions.
“The efforts of partners in developing and financing the Cadre Harmonise processes are highly commendable,’’ he said.
Mr Kevin Tekpat, the Director of the National Programme on Food Security (NPFS), said the meeting was to consolidate and analyse the outcome to assist governments at all levels in decision making.
He said that judging from the analysis, most states were under food pressure but no state was experiencing famine in the North East.
“We want to make the analysis palatable for decision makers to utilise; we are looking at the categories of food insecurity in the country,’’ Tekpat said.
Some of the state Cadre Harmonise Coordinators, who spoke at the meeting, described the food and nutrition security situation in their states as “fair’’.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Cadre Harmonise is the current regional framework for consensual analysis of acute food insecurity situations in 16 states and the FCT.
It aims at using the results of the food insecurity analysis to prevent food crisis by identifying affected areas and populations, while proffering appropriate measures to improve their food and nutrition security.
The benefitting states are Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara and the FCT.
Cadre Harmonise is supported by the Federal Government, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), WFP and the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), among others.
NAN reports that the analysis showed that 13 out of 16 states and FCT were in the minimal phase of food insecurity, while Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states were facing nutritional challenges. (NAN)