Instruments of Pain (IV): The Food Crisis in North East Nigeria

Approximately five million people in the region of east Nigeria (8.5 million across the wider Lake Chad basin) are facing severe food insecurity. This humanitarian crisis in north east Nigeria runs the risk of growing worse. This primarily is a result of a seven-year-old insurgency by Boko Haram, an Islamist militant group, which provoked forced displacement as well as massive infrastructure destruction. The Nigerian military’s forceful counter insurgency strategy also was a precipitating factor. Amid this situation, aid agencies are unable to access many of those in need due to security constraints and lack sufficient funding for 2017. They warn that emergency food rations may be cut in weeks, just as the lean season approaches for the vulnerable millions. UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that “more than 20 million people in South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and north-east Nigeria are going hungry, and facing devastating levels of food insecurity”.