The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has said that Nigeria and 40 other nations across the world are in need of external food assistance.
FAO said this on Thursday, in its latest quarterly report, titled Crop Prospects and Food Situation.
The report said, “Nigeria and the other 40 nations need the external assistance to achieve food security, due to the conflicts, which is the primary cause of high levels of food insecurity and adverse weather conditions – particularly rainfall shortages in Africa – acutely affecting food availability and access for millions of people.”
The countries on the list, which include 31 in Africa, remained unchanged over the last six months.
The 41 countries currently in need of external food assistance are: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Venezuela, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
It would be recalled that the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele had on Thursday told Nigerian governors that the nation spends about $1.2bn to import fish annually.
He explained that current fish production stood at 0.8 million tons while the demand was 2.7 million tons, giving a deficit of 1.9 million tons.
Nigeria’s border has also been closed for weeks now in order to curb smuggling and boost local patronage of rice and other goods, which can be sourced locally.