US embassy cable - 85KADUNA709

REPORTS OF STARVATION IN NIGERIA

Identifier: 85KADUNA709
Wikileaks: View 85KADUNA709 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Kaduna
Created: 1985-06-05 11:18:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: ECON SOCI SREF NI
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
R 051118Z JUN 85
FM AMCONSUL KADUNA
TO AMEMBASSY LAGOS
SECSTATE WASHDC 7998
C O N F I D E N T I A L KADUNA 0709 
 
E.O. 12356:  DECL: OADR 
TAGS:  ECON, SOCI, SREF, NI 
SUBJECT:  REPORTS OF STARVATION IN NIGERIA 
 
REF:  LAGOS 06244 
 
1.  CONFIDENTIAL - ENTIRE TEXT 
 
2.  CONGEN HAS LITTLE EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT REFTEL REPORT OF 
DROUGHT-RELATED STARVATION IN NORTHERN NIGERIA.  WE 
RECOGNIZE THAT THE SITUATION IN SOME AREAS IS VERY SERIOUS, 
AND WE WOULD, THEREFORE, NOT BE SURPRISED TO FIND SCATTERED 
INCIDENCES OF STARVATION.  HOWEVER, NONE OF OUR SOURCES IN 
THE AREA HAVE REPORTED IT TO BE A MAJOR PROBLEM, AND WE 
DOUBT IT EXISTS ON ANY LARGE SCALE. 
 
3.  THAT THERE ARE SERIOUS FOOD SHORTAGES IN SOME AREAS IS 
SUBSTANTIATED BY THE REPEATED PLEAS BY THE NORTHERN 
GOVERNORS FOR FEDERAL ASSISTANCE--INCLUDING FOOD AID--FOR 
DROUGHT VICTIMS IN THEIR STATES.  MUCH OF THE U.S.--PURCHASED 
MAIZE WHICH RECENTLY ARRIVED IN LAGOS IS EVIDENTLY INTENDED 
FOR THIS PURPOSE.  IF THE AMERICAN GRAIN ACTUALLY FINDS ITS 
WAY TO THOSE MOST IN NEED, THE SITUATION SHOULD BE 
ALLEVIATED SOMEWHAT.  LOGISTICAL PROBLEMS IN THE 
DISTRIBUTION OF AVAILABLE ESSENTIAL COMMODITIES AND THE 
SIMPLE INABILITY OF THE NEEDIEST PEOPLE TO PAY FOR 
FOODSTOCKS MAY, IN FACT, BE THE MAJOR CONTRIBUTING 
FACTORS TO ANY OCCURRENCES OF STARVATION THAT EXIST. 
 
4.  ARGUING AGAINST REPORTS OF WIDESPREAD STARVATION 
IS THE RELAXED ATTITUDE OF THE FMG TOWARD ALIEN DROUGHT 
REFUGEES IN NIGERIA.  NO EFFORTS WERE MADE TO EVICT 
THESE PEOPLE DURING THE RECENT EXPULSION EXERCISE, AND 
INTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTER MAGORO STATED LAST WEEK THAT 
NIGERIA IS ACCOMMODATING 250,000 ALIEN DROUGHT REFUGEES 
ON HUMANITARIAN GROUNDS.  IF A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF 
NIGERIANS WERE THREATENED WITH STARVATION, THE FMG 
WOULD LIKELY HAVE A DIFFERENT ATTITUDE TO SO LARGE A 
GROUP OF ALIENS COMPETING FOR AVAILABLE FOOD SUPPLIES. 
 
 
ANDRESEN 

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