IDFP Benue State Food Project

Strengthening Resilience in Nutrition and Food Security on the African Continent by Interfaith Leaders

In line with Goal 2: Zero Hunger, Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being, Goal 5: Gender Equality,  Goal 10: Reduced inequality, Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, Goal 17: Partnership for the Goals of the SDGs and the African Union Theme of strengthening resilience in Nutrition and food security, on the African continent, KAICIID and World Council of Churches through Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP), International Centre for Interfaith Peace and Harmony (ICIPH) and the Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN) organized a multi-sectoral approach for an evidence-based fact-finding mission in two states in Nigeria that are mostly affected by climate change as well as violent conflicts leading to food insecurity.

Benue and Rivers states were therefore selected for this pilot project because, as with any conflict, the tensions and violence in these states have multiple intersecting drivers including climate change and food insecurity. These states have been threatened by climate issues as well as farmer-herdsmen violent conflicts thus affecting agricultural outputs and decreasing food security. These states can benefit from knowledge and understanding of food security challenges as well as available tools/resources to manage the crises.

In order to effectively respond to food insecurity as a contributor to the exacerbation of inter-religious tensions in Nigeria, this project aims to establish multistakeholder action at the local and national level by:

  • Sensitizing communities within conflict-afflicted states in Nigeria on addressing food security
    1. Through IDFP’s IDU’s community engagement;
  • Create widespread awareness of the way food insecurity affects community relations and ongoing initiatives to address this;
    1. By developing a docu-series to be disseminated via social and traditional media channels;
  • Contribute to multi-stakeholder learning on the topic
    1. Through monitoring, analysis and reporting;
  • Garner policy support for action at the local and national levels in Nigeria
    1. By gathering community feedback and recommendations;
    2. Engaging local policymakers in each of the 10 states;
    3. Holding a policy dialogue round table at the national level; and
  • Contribute to the G20 process

Two workshops were organized in each of the states with members of the IDUs, security, relevant government officials and other policy actors to understand the peculiarity and the nature of their challenges. It is observed from this project that the major challenges faced in Benue state are violent clashes between farmers and herders most especially climate change-induced conflict as well as persistent flooding while Rivers State majorly faces the challenges of flooding, gas flaring, deforestation, loss of marine/fisheries through oil spillage, bunkering and crude oil burning on lands. The workshops were followed by visits to affected sites and the conduct of interviews with stakeholders to demonstrate the effects of food security challenges in order to gather practical recommendations on how best to tackle the challenges.

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