Monday, 12 June 2017

Nigeria's food crisis: by the time famine is declared, it's too late

The UN’s appeal to assist people in north-east Nigeria is too late to avert a disaster eight years in the making

The rains have arrived in Nigeria since my last visit in March, washing away some of the harmattan dust that previously shrouded the city in a red haze. The country is now in its planting season, with farmers taking advantage of the regular rainfall to sow their seeds. While my colleagues have been celebrating the fact that they can now sleep comfortably in cooler temperatures, Nigeria has entered it’s lean season; belts are tightened to bridge the gap between last year’s produce running out, and this year’s crops being ready to harvest.

On my first day back in Abuja in April, a friend and fellow aid worker attended a meeting of UN agencies and other humanitarian organisations called in light of the emergency – and likely famine – that was looming in the north-eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

Related: Famine threatens lives of nearly half a million Nigerian children, says Unicef

A photo of one actually starving child can be worth more than 8.5 million children at risk of starvation

Related: A tale of two droughts: one killed 260,000 people, the other none. Why? | Assia Sidibe

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from Nigeria | The Guardian

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