From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched the Hunger Crisis Emergency Appeal seeking 4.1 million (about N1,823,762,000) Swiss Francs to support the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) to deliver humanitarian assistance to 200,000 people (33,000 households) over 18 months across seven states in Nigeria.
In a statement by the humanitarian organizations, the launch of an emergency appeal for 4.1 million Swiss Francs is to tackle food insecurity in the northern part of the country, especially to address the current hunger crisis in the North West and North Central states of Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Benue, Niger, Zamfara, and Nasarawa.
Nigeria is currently facing a serious food insecurity situation as a result of the prolonged insecurity crisis in the Northwest and North Central states of the West African country characterized by banditry, /abductions, and criminality.
The statement said the needs assessment conducted in six states (Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Benue, Niger, and Nasarawa) by the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRSC) and the IFRC, revealed that 2.5 million people are currently facing acute hunger, with the corresponding impact expected to spill into 2022.
Nigeria has about 82.9 million people that are living in poverty as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in 2020.
The emergency response operation by the Nigerian Red Cross Society will focus on the provision of services such as livelihood and basic needs assistance; health and nutrition, psychosocial support, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Protection, Gender and Inclusion (PGI).
The operation will build on previous and current joint actions between the IFRC, and the NRCS in supporting Nigerian communities through short to long-term interventions.
The IFRC and NRCS have been active in addressing food insecurity and hunger in Nigeria and will coordinate the emergency appeal in partnership with other actors in the Food Security Sector Working Group, Cash Working Group, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and other players.