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UN shops for N62.5tr to fight hunger, poverty in North East

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The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, has said that $250 million (about N62.5 billion) is required to address the food crisis in the insurgency-affected North East.

After his four-day visit to insurgency affected states at the weekend, in Maiduguri, he stated: “About 4.4 million people were in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states,” warning that hunger is on the rise worldwide.

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“We are grateful to our donors and partners for their generous support to avert hunger in the region,” he added.

According to him, the UN and other partners’ operational plan sets out the requirement of $250 million for immediate action.

“We desperately need the funding now to urgently save lives,” said Kallon.

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He said the combination of conflict, the Coronavirus Disease, inflation, and the impact of climate change were decimating livelihoods.

Lamenting that people were denied access to food in their respective communities, he noted that unless the challenges were addressed urgently, there would be continued food insecurity that could lead to deteriorating catastrophic conditions.

“Millions of people are at risk,” he warned, fearing that the outlook in the North East was dire.

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The March 2021 Cadre Harmonisé food security assessment also estimated that 4.4 million people, including Internally Displaced Persons, are expected to face critical food shortages.

According to the UN coordinator, about 775,000 people are at extreme risk of catastrophic food insecurity.

“This is the worst outlook in four years,” laments Kallon at the 20th meeting of the Joint Planning Board and National Council on Development Planning. The three-day economic summit was organised by the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Borno State Government.

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“We’ve joined efforts to address the rapidly deteriorating food insecurity situation in the North East,” as well as working closely with Nigeria at federal and state levels.

Noting that the situation might worsen as the rainy season sets in, he warned that if diseases like cholera and malaria were not prevented or controlled, G-7 countries had given their commitment to assist and that the UN would follow up for results.

Kallon also spoke to participants at the 20th edition of the Joint Planning Board and National Council on Development Planning meeting.

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