Saturday, January 21, 2017

Unicef: 75,000 children could die of hunger in North-Eastern Nigeria

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The United Nations Children’s Agency has said Nigeria could lose 75,000 children to hunger in 2017, if aid and supplies is not immediately sent to the Northeast.

The agency blamed the famine-like condition in the Northeast on the current insurgency in the region. It said Boko Haram activities has greatly hampered the distribution of aid materials to the affected region. It has therefore called on the Nigerian Government, to provide military escorts for aid workers trying to reach areas affected by the crisis, which has been overwhelmed by soaring food prices and dwindling reserve from the last harvest.

“The 75,000 is from the three states, Borno, Yobe and Adamawa,” said Unicef spokesman Patrick Rose, in an emailed response to questions, referring to the number of children in those areas who could die over the next year.

He further added that 400,000 children under the age of five would suffer from malnutrition in the affected areas, and more than four million people could face severe food shortages. However, Unicef has said it has increased the needed sum in its humanitarian appeal to help malnourished children in the areas affected by the Boko Haram insurgency, where food supplies are close to running out, to $115 million, more than double the previous amount of $55 million. It has so far received just $28 million, which it said “presents a serious obstacle to Unicef’s scale up plan”.

Many of the internally displaced persons have been enjoined to go back to their various homes, in liue of this, the Nigerian Military has increased its push, to rout-out terrorists from the region. The insurgency has claimed over 15,000 lives and rendered more than two million people homeless since it began seven-years ago.

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