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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Aims to Provide Livelihood Assistance to Nearly 49 Million People in 2021

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Food and agriculture organisation of the United Nations

As the COVID-19 pandemic, conflict and climate-related crises drive acute levels of hunger higher, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is seeking $1.1 billion in 2021 to save the lives and livelihoods of some of the world’s most food-insecure people.

In 2021, FAO is aiming to reach more than 48.9 million people who rely on agriculture for their survival and livelihoods through interventions aimed at boosting local food production and nutrition, while strengthening the capacity and resilience of communities to prepare for and cope with crises, as well as providing post-disaster livelihoods support to help people resume production.

According to FAO’s latest data, country after country has recorded new food insecurity figures and the total number of people who experienced acute food insecurity at crisis or worse levels in 2020 is expected to exceed 2019’s high of 135 million people. This year’s Global Report on Food Crises , to be launched by the Global Network against Food Crises in April, will underscore the severity of the situation.

“The shocks of the past year will reverberate long into 2021 and beyond, and we need to urgently scale up actions to avert a worst-case scenario,” said Dominique Burgeon, Director of FAO’s Emergencies and Resilience Division.

Of extreme concern are the estimated 30 million people in Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Phase 4 or Emergency levels of acute hunger, who are already experiencing excess mortality and the irreversible loss of vital livelihood assets.

Hundreds of thousands of girls, boys, women and men are at extreme risk of acute food insecurity in several countries. Many are living in conflict zones where humanitarian access is restricted or challenging.

“Millions are living on the precipice – one stress or shock away from a rapid deterioration. With or without famine declarations, we need to act now,” Burgeon added.

Many depend on agriculture for their lives and livelihoods

Agriculture is critical as nearly four out of five people live in rural areas and rely on some form of agricultural production for their livelihoods. The most severe manifestation of acute hunger remains a largely rural phenomenon so averting famine must therefore begin in rural areas and include large-scale and collective action to save livelihoods and lives.

FAO has already provided critical livelihood support to safeguard the livelihoods of over 24 million people against the socio‑economic impacts of COVID-19. Desert Locust control operations have also had an impact in the Greater Horn of Africa and Yemen where FAO has protected over 3.1 million tonnes of cereal, worth $939 million, enough to feed more than 20.8 million people for a year and protect more than 1.5 million pastoral households.

With FAO’s support, those affected can have the means and the capacity to produce the food needed to stave off acute hunger.

FAO targets assistance to acutely food insecure

FAO’s emergency response in 2021 will focus on providing assistance to highly food-insecure communities in more than 30 countries including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Yemen is suffering the world’s worst humanitarian crisis as a consequence of conflict and economic collapse. Farmers have also had to deal with Desert Locusts and natural disasters. FAO aims to reach 6.3 million people with high impact interventions combining cash and agricultural livelihoods support and promoting community resilience.

In Syria, 12 million people will benefit from restoring agricultural livelihoods and value chains while in Ethiopia, the Organization aims to assist 6.7 million people facing acute hunger and another 6 million people in South Sudan to improve their food security, resilience and agricultural production.

Recognizing that close monitoring and agility are crucial tools in preventing rapid deterioration, FAO will continue to expand its anticipatory action linked to early warnings in 2021 to protect livelihoods before a disaster.

“We will continue investing in the most vulnerable people and their livelihoods so that they can lead their future recovery and pull themselves out of acute hunger,” said Burgeon.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Economy

Oil Firms Borrowed N130B From Banks in February – CBN

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Operators in the downstream, natural gas and crude oil refining sectors of the Nigerian oil and gas industry borrowed N130b from Nigerian banks in February amid the significant rise in global crude oil prices.

The debt owed by the oil and gas companies rose to N4.05tn in February from N3.92bn in January, according to the latest data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria on Monday.

Operators in the upstream and services subsectors owed banks N1.26tn in February, down from N1.27tn a month earlier.

The combined debt of N5.31tn owed by oil and gas operators as of February 2021 represents 25.29 percent of the N21tn loans advanced to the private sector by the banks, according to the sectoral analysis by the CBN of deposit money banks’ credit.

Oil and gas firms received the biggest share of the credit from the deposit money banks to the private sector.

The slump in oil prices in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic hit many oil and gas companies hard, forcing them to slash their capital budgets and suspend some projects.

A global credit rating agency, Moody’s Investors Service, said last month that the outlook for Nigeria’s banking system remains negative, reflecting expectations of rising asset risk and weakening government support capacity over the next 12 to 18 months.

“Nigerian banks’ loan quality will weaken in 2021 as coronavirus support measures implemented by the government and central bank last year, including the loan repayment holiday, are unwound,” said Peter Mushangwe, an analyst at Moody’s.

The rating agency estimated that between 40 percent and 45 percent of banking loans were restructured in 2020, easing pressure on borrowers following the outbreak of the pandemic.

Another global credit rating agency, Fitch Ratings, had noted in a December 8 report that Nigerian bank asset quality had historically fallen with oil prices, with the oil sector representing 28 percent of loans at the end of the first half of 2020.

It said the upstream and midstream segments (nearly seven percent of gross loans) had been particularly affected by low oil prices and production cuts.

“However, the sector has performed better than expected since the start of the crisis, limiting the rise in credit losses this year due to a combination of debt relief afforded to customers, a stabilisation in oil prices, the hedging of financial exposures and the widespread restructuring of loans to the sector following the 2015 crisis,” it said.

The rating agency predicted that Nigerian bank asset quality would weaken over the next 12 to 18 months.

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Economy

Fall in Economic Activities in Nigeria Created N485.51 Billion Fiscal Deficit in January -CBN

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Dollar thrive in Nigeria

The drop in economic activities in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria led to a N485.51 billion fiscal deficit in January, according to the latest data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

In the monthly economic report released on Friday by the apex bank, the weak revenue performance in January 2021 was due to the decline in non-oil receipts following the lingering negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic on business activities and the resultant shortfall in tax revenues.

In part, the report read, “Federally collected revenue in January 2021 was N807.54bn.

“This was 4.6 per cent below the provisional budget benchmark and 12.8 per cent lower than the collection in the corresponding period of 2020.

“Oil and non-oil revenue constituted 45.4 per cent and 54.6 per cent of the total collection respectively. The modest rebound in crude oil prices in the preceding three months enhanced the contribution of oil revenue to total revenue, relative to the budget benchmark.

“Non-oil revenue sources underperformed, owing to the shortfalls in collections from VAT, corporate tax, and FGN independent revenue sources.

“Retained revenue of the Federal Government of Nigeria was lower-than-trend due to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“At N285.26bn, FGN’s retained revenue fell short of its programmed benchmark and collections in January 2020, by 41.3 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively.

“In contrast, the provisional aggregate expenditure of the FGN rose from N717.6bn in December 2020 to N770.77bn in the reporting period, but remained 14.4 per cent below the monthly target of N900.88bn.

“Fiscal operations of the FGN in January 2021 resulted in a tentative overall deficit of N485.51bn.”

The report noted that Nigeria’s total public debt stood at N28.03 trillion as of the end-September 2020, with domestic and external debts accounting for 56.5 percent and 43.5 percent, respectively.

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Economy

NNPC Supplies 1.44 Billion Litres of Petrol in January 2021

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Petrol Importation - investorsking.com

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) supplied a total of 1.44 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit popularly known as petrol in January 2021.

The corporation disclosed in its latest Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR) for the month of January.

NNPC said the 1.44 billion litres translate to 46.30 million litres per day.

Also, a total of 223.55Billion Cubic Feet (BCF) of natural gas was produced in the month of January 2021, translating to an average daily production of 7,220.22 Million Standard Cubic Feet per Day (mmscfd).

The 223.55BCF gas production figure also represents a 4.79% increase over output in December 2020.

Also, the daily average natural gas supply to gas power plants increased by 2.38 percent to 836mmscfd, equivalent to power generation of 3,415MW.

For the period of January 2020 to January 2021, a total of 2,973.01BCF of gas was produced representing an average daily production of 7,585.78 mmscfd during the period.

Period-to-date Production from Joint Ventures (JVs), Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) contributed about 65.20%, 19.97 percent and 14.83 percent respectively to the total national gas production.

Out of the total gas output in January 2021, a total of 149.24BCF of gas was commercialized consisting of 44.29BCF and 104.95BCF for the domestic and export markets respectively.

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