The United Nations has called on the Nigerian government to support farmers as there could be starvation in the country this year.
According to Ms Eve Sabbagh, the Head of Public Information Unit, United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Nigeria, it is paramount at this time to give helping hand to farmers as more people could suffer severe hunger this year.
Sabbagh while speaking with newsmen on Tuesday, regretted that the number of people in dire need of life-saving assistance in the country which includes food, shelter and potable water rose to 7.8m as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic this year, against the 7.1m recorded in 2019.
She said, “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,”
“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,” Sabbagh noted.
She added, “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.”
Meanwhile, the United Nations, UN, has declared that Nigeria is now free of the Poliovirus.
The development was announced by Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Margaret Chan on Thursday, June 18, 2020, Naija News reports.