THE International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on Thursday said 2.5 million people in Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Benue, Niger, Zamfara and Nasarawa were battling hunger.

The organisation disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘IFRC launches an emergency appeal for 4.1 million Swiss Francs to tackle food insecurity in the northern part of the country’.

According to the IFRC, the prolonged insecurity in the northern part of the country has led to food insecurity in Nigeria.

It however said that the emergency response by the Red Cross would focus on the provision of basic humanitarian services.

The statement partly reads, “The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has launched the Hunger Crisis Emergency Appeal seeking 4.1 million Swiss Francs to support the Nigerian Red Cross Society to deliver humanitarian assistance to 200,000 people over 18 months across seven states in Nigeria to address the current hunger crisis in the North-West and North-Central states of Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Benue, Niger, Zamfara, and Nasarawa.

“Nigeria is currently facing a serious food insecurity situation as a result of the prolonged insecurity crisis in the North-West and North-Central states of the West African country characterised by banditry, abductions and criminality.

“According to a NEEDS assessment conducted in six states of Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Benue, Niger, and Nasarawa by the Nigerian Red Cross Society and the IFRC, 2.5 million people are currently facing acute hunger, with the corresponding impact expected to spill into 2022.”

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It added that the emergency response operation by the Nigerian Red Cross Society would focus on the provision of services such as livelihood and basic needs assistance like health and nutrition, psychosocial support, water, sanitation and hygiene, disaster risk reduction, protection, gender and inclusion.

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