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Severe Food Crisis Projected in Nigeria: UN

FILE - An aerial view of Jere Camp where people displaced by Islamist extremists are residing, including Iza Ali, in Maiduguri, Nigeria, Monday, May 2, 2022.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned on Tuesday that Nigeria faces a food insecurity crisis as a result of violence, rising food prices and climate change.

More than eight million people are in need of food assistance due to the armed conflict in three states in the northeast Nigeria: Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

"If we don't get immediate funding soon for an initial multi-sector response plan worth $350 million, we will have a crisis that will be much worse in a couple of months," Mattias Schmale, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, told a news conference in Geneva on Tuesday.

UN Warns of Food Insecurity in Nigeria
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During his appeal to the international community to help contain food shortages in the west African nation, Schmale added that an estimated 600,000 face high levels of food insecurity due to extremist violence for more than a decade, around the Lake Chad region.

This dire humanitarian crisis is exacerbated by soaring food prices triggered by the war in Ukraine, which supplies much of Africa's wheat.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the African Union during a closed-door address on Monday that Africa had been taken hostage in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine amid catastrophically rising food prices.

In addition, OCHA has also echoed concerns regarding the impact of climate change as rains have been irregular and scant in recent months, reducing crop yields dramatically.

"We've just entered what is called the lean season that normally lasts until September; last year it lasted until November, so we're also seeing the impact of climate change," Schmale said.