News Alert: Deadly Flooding Increases Acute Food Insecurity in Nigeria

Nigeria is experiencing its worst flooding in a decade, resulting in more than 600 deaths and 1.3 million people displaced since June. The disruption of lives and livelihoods due to flooding is expected to continue through the end of November. Mercy Corps is distributing emergency shelter kits, food, and water to flood-affected Nigerians in Borno State and working with affected farmers in Adamawa, Gombe, Borno and Yobe states. 

Like similarly unprecedented flooding in Pakistan, Nigeria is yet another example of how climate change is most affecting the countries that contribute the least to carbon emission, less than one percent. The country usually experiences seasonal flooding from heavy rain, but this year has been the worst in decades, exacerbated by more extreme rainfall in the region. 

Before the flooding, Nigeria was already struggling with the compounded effects of climate change, conflict, and skyrocketing food, fuel, and fertilizer prices worsened by the war in Ukraine. According to the United Nations World Food Programme, 19.5 million Nigerians are food insecure, with many living in conflict-affected states, where access to lifesaving assistance from humanitarian aid is challenging.

Ndubisi Emeka Anyanwu, Mercy Corps’ Country Director for Nigeria, says:

“The flood has worsened the pre-existing humanitarian crisis in Nigeria. Millions of people are struggling to meet basic needs, and many might not survive this latest shock. The prices of bread, cereal, oil and beans are so high that the average person can no longer afford what we once took for granted.”

“Our major economic centers like Abuja are at a standstill because supply routes in and out of the city are blocked or destroyed.  People are having difficulty working because of long fuel lines, and moving to help those in need is harder and more costly. Nigeria will experience the economic fallout of this flooding for many years.”

“As this tragedy continues unfolding, global leaders will be meeting at COP27. They must follow through on their existing commitments to fund adaptation in countries like Nigeria that are suffering the most from the consequences of climate change.”

Mercy Corps has been working in Nigeria since 2012 to deliver urgent, lifesaving assistance and help people cope and adapt to challenges from climate to conflict. In 2022, Mercy Corps has reached more than 4 million people across the country.