5 million people in the northeast need food – FAO

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A makeshift camp which houses internaly displaced people (IDPs) on the outskirts of Maiduguri, Borno State, northeastern Nigeria on September 15, 2016 ©Stefan Heunis (AFP)

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned that Boko Haram insurgency and rising inflation have left more than five million people in northeast Nigeria facing acute food insecurity.

The United Nations agriculture agency has appealed for $25 million through May 2017 to support irrigated vegetable production and micro-gardening in the dry season, as well as rebuild livestock systems, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

In a situation update, FAO said the urgently needed funds would tackle food insecurity among returnees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities.

In addition, the agency is seeking funds now to provide critical agricultural inputs to farmers in time for the 2017 main rainy season.

“We must act now to rapidly restore food security and combat severe hunger and malnutrition,” FAO said in the update.

It noted that inflationary pressures in the national economy have pushed the prices of staple food crops extremely high across the three northeastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

According to it, prices of food crops are expected to rise further, requiring “immediate intervention.”

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