The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said its 2019 humanitarian response plan for Nigeria had only been 53.6 per cent funded with the year already halved.
FAO, in a new report on ‘underfunded appeals for countries experiencing complex crises’, said out of the $31.5 million appeals for the year, $16.89 million had been received.
“The purpose of this document is, therefore, to highlight critical needs and funding requirements for interventions that can realistically be undertaken in the second half of 2019 in these underfunded crises, given opportunities presented by upcoming seasons.
“Therefore, while FAO continues to seek funding to meet critical needs in major food crises, such as those in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen and others, this document focuses on significantly underfunded crises where our resources to act are currently extremely limited,’’ the report said.
It said in the first half of 2019, conflicts, droughts and floods in countries already experiencing complex crises had left millions of people facing a further deterioration in their food security and livelihoods.
In many of these contexts, funding received for agriculture-based humanitarian action has not come close to matching needs, the UN agency said.
Across all appeals, FAO has received less than 30 per cent of the $1bn requested at the beginning of the year to meet the urgent needs of 33 million people worldwide.
For some crises, FAO said it had received as little as six per cent of requirements, leaving millions at risk of acute hunger.
The total funding gap for FAO’s component of the 2019 humanitarian appeals is $744 million and, within this, urgent requirements for critically underfunded crises amount to $120 million to reach 3.6 million people in the remainder of the year.
Without urgent support to agriculture-based livelihoods in these contexts, FAO said there was a real risk of the situation further deteriorating in the second half of 2019, with rising hunger and humanitarian needs.
Pastoral populations in the Sahel are particularly struggling to cope with the effects of last year’s drought and ongoing conflict and insecurity in the region.
These require urgent assistance to protect their herds and address rising hunger, FAO said.
The UN agency said: “Food security and livelihood interventions save lives, safeguard livelihoods and strengthen resilience in the face of future crises.
“A failure to act now will lead to more people facing acute hunger.
“With the support of our resource partners, we can help to avert a further deterioration of food security in some of the most neglected crises in 2019″.