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$396 million needed to fight hunger in north east, says UN

 


The United Nations (UN) says $396 million is urgently needed to avert a catastrophic widespread hunger and malnutrition crisis in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states.

 

The UN made the appeal in a statement on Thursday.

 

According to the statement, more than half a million are at risk of emergency levels of food insecurity, extremely high rates of acute malnutrition and cases of mortality if there is no rapid and significant scale-up of humanitarian assistance.

 

An estimated two million children under five in the three states are likely to face wasting this year, the UN said, describing it as the most immediate and life-threatening form of malnutrition.

 

The UN attributed the deepening food crisis to years of protracted conflict and insecurity, fuel and food inflation, the recent naira scarcity, and climate shocks.

 

“I have seen firsthand the anguish of mothers fighting for the lives of their malnourished infants in our partner-run stabilization centres. This is a situation no one should have to face,” Matthias Schmale, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Nigeria, said.

 

“I have spoken with children who described going for days without eating enough. Mothers who said their children go to bed crying from hunger. Families struggling to feed their families as they have gone for months without receiving food assistance.”

 

Fred Kafeero, the country representative of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), warned that the upcoming lean season may worsen food insecurity among vulnerable households without access to agricultural livelihood options.

 

According to the statement, the UN has released a combined $18 million to kickstart the response to the food crisis in north-east Nigeria.

 

 

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