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The National Human Rights Commission, on Sunday, raised concern over the rising food crisis in Nigeria, saying it had worsened access to healthy and nutritious food, especially among Internally Displaced Persons and vulnerable group, leading to increase in widespread hunger and low quality of life.
The commission attributed the scenario to several factors, including “insecurity chasing farmers from their farms, coupled with many farmlands submerged in water due to flooding in some parts of the county.”
According to a statement by the NHRC Deputy Director (Public Affairs and External Linkages), Fatimah Agwai Mohammed, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Chief Tony Ojukwu, SAN stated this in Abuja as Nigeria joins the global community to celebrate the World Food Day which is celebrated on October 16 every year.
“The situation which is partly associated with climate change has worsened access to healthy and nutritious food, leading to increase in widespread hunger and low quality of life and wellbeing of Nigerians, particularly the vulnerable group,” he said.
Ojukwu lamented that it had become increasingly difficult for many citizens to make a decent living due to poor access to balanced diet, occasioned by escalating food prices resulting from insecurity and climate change.
“You will agree with me that Nigeria is undergoing severe food crisis fueled by climate change and insecurity in all parts of the country coupled with the current Russia–Ukraine war that has affected the importation of food items across the globe.
“With the current reality of rising prices of food items, many Nigerians may plunge deeper into poverty if proper measures are not put in place,” Ojukwu stated.
According to him, the current food crisis was mostly affecting the less privileged Nigerians especially the Internally Displaced Persons.
“I must tell you that the IDPs are worst hit by the food crisis, our report of monitoring the human rights and humanitarian situation of IDPs in the North-East has since 2015, indicated that this population of concern suffer acute food and nutrition shortage and are seriously in need of assistance,” he said.
The NHRC CEO used the opportunity to disclose that the commission has been partnering with relevant UN bodies such as UNDP, UNHCR as well as the European Union to carry out series of intervention programmes targeted towards providing humanitarian support to the vulnerable population, particularly in the North-East which is suffering the devastating effects of insurgency.
He said that this year’s theme “Leave no one behind”, is very apt, saying government and relevant stakeholders should increase their efforts at ensuring adequate provision of food to every member of the human family without discrimination.
He advised government at all levels to stem insecurity to the barest minimum, prepare for climate change by strictly adhering to early warning signals to mitigate its effect on farmlands, as well as support and encourage farmers to migrate to mechanised farming to achieve bumper harvests and abundant food for all.
“Everyone deserves the right to enjoy adequate food and nutrition for survival, right to food is right to life, therefore all hands must be on deck to build a sustainable society where everyone has regular access to enough nutritional food, no one should be left behind,” Ojukwu said.
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