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Assistant Director General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Abebe Haile-Gabriel, is in Nigeria to ascertain the level of the food crisis and meet with stakeholders.

Haile-Gabriel, who is also the Regional FAO Director for Africa, arrived in Abuja, yesterday, alongside the Deputy Director in charge of the Office of Emergency and Resilience at FAO headquarters in Rome, Shukri Ahmed.

The Northwest and North Central states, alongside the Northeast, are already facing high levels of food insecurity due to a combination of long-running armed conflict and violence, disrupted livelihoods, reduced market access, localized food production shortfall, and the impacts of COVID-19 on food supply chains.

The food security situation reports by FAO revealed that 19.4 million people across the country are food insecure.

A statement by National Communications Specialist, David Tsokar, stated that the high-level visit would strengthen solidarity and amplify the voice of humanitarian actors in advocating for support to stem food insecurity in the country.

It said the delegation will also reiterate FAO’s commitment, at the highest level, to building the resilience of agriculture-based livelihoods to multiple shocks and FAO’s corporate strategic direction in agrifood systems transformation globally and specifically in Africa.

The statement added: “The delegation will also meet with selected senior government officials in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, UN Heads of Mission, and development partners in Abuja.

“They will also make a field visit to Maiduguri, Borno State, where they will interact with FAO project participants and government officials in the state.”