The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) says Nigeria and 40 other countries across the world are in need of external food assistance.
In its recently released quarterly report, ‘Crop Prospects and Food Situation’, the organisation said the food assistance is necessitated by high levels of food insecurity and adverse weather conditions which are “acutely affecting food availability and access for millions of people”. Of the 41 countries listed, 31 are in Africa.
The countries listed as being in need of assistance are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Venezuela, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
“About half of the 41 countries needing external assistance for food are home to civil unrest or full-fledged conflict, while others face severe resource strains due to large influxes of refugees from neighbouring countries experiencing unrest,” the report read.
“Conflict and civil insecurity are also primary drivers of food insecurity in Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen and parts of Myanmar and Nigeria.
“Ongoing conflicts also continue to affect farming activities, limiting farmers’ access to land and causing a shortage of inputs. The conflicts and civil insecurity are affecting North-east Nigeria, the Lake Chad Basin, the Lac and Tibesti regions of Chad, northern and central Mali.
“In north-east and North-west Nigeria, conflict incidents and violence by armed groups in recent months have been very high and have strongly hindered agro-pastoral activities.”
According to the FAO, other factors affecting food availability in other countries are rain scarcity, adverse weather conditions and hyper-inflation.