West Africa is said to be currently facing its worst food crisis in a decade, with 27 million people going hungry and this number could rise to 38 million this June if care is not taken.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Communication officer, Oxfam Nigeria, Rita Abiodun, and issued to newsmen in Nigeria.
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According to the statement, the alert was issued in a report conducted by eleven international organisations in response to new analyses of the March 2022 Cadre Harmonisé (CH), ahead of the virtual conference on the food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel and Lake Chad organised by the European Union and the Sahel and West Africa Club.
It added that the increase if allowed would set a new alarming historic level unless urgent action is taken.
It further stated that over the past decade, far from abating, food crises have been increasing across the West African region, including in Burkina Faso, Niger Republic, Chad, Mali and Nigeria adding that between 2015 and 2022, the number of people in need of emergency food assistance nearly quadrupled, from 7 to 27 million.
“Cereal production in some parts of the Sahel has dropped by about a third compared to last year. Family food supplies are running out. Drought, floods, conflict and the economic impacts of COVID-19 have forced millions of people off their land, pushing them to the brink,” the statement quoted Oxfam’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Assalama Dawalack Sidi.
Mr Sidi explained that the situation is forcing hundreds of thousands of people to move to different communities and to live with host families who are already living in difficult conditions themselves and that there is not enough food, let alone food that is nutritious enough for children.