The United Nations (UN) says more Nigerians may face hunger this year, noting that there is an urgent need to support farmers in the country.
Ms. Eve Sabbagh, Head, Public Information Unit, United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Nigeria, made this known while speaking with journalists on Tuesday.
She lamented that the number of people in dire need of life-saving assistance including food, shelter and potable water rose from 7.1m in 2019 to 7.8m in 2020 amid the pandemic.
“It is extremely important to have funding in time to provide support to farmers during the planting season, as there is a risk to see more people facing hunger this year,” she noted.
Sabbagh explained, “Before the COVID-19 pandemic reached Nigeria, humanitarian needs were already worsening and increased from 7.1 million people in need of urgent life-saving assistance in 2019 to 7.8 million people in 2020.
“UN and NGOs as well as government institutions had planned to step up their assistance in 2020. UN and partner NGOs needed $834 million to provide urgent aid to 5.9 million people.
“We are half-way through the year and so far only 15% of the funding has been received. Now with the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on the economy and livelihoods, many more people need urgent assistance.”