- The United Nations warns that 700,000 children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition in Nigeria, with 2 million children under the age of five facing the most immediate and life-threatening form of malnutrition in specific states.
- The UN appeals for $400 million in funding to prevent widespread hunger and malnutrition in northeast Nigeria, with a focus on expanding food and nutrition assistance, providing clean water and sanitation, healthcare, protection, and logistics.
- The funding accounts for less than 5% of the total requirement, highlighting the urgent need for assistance as malnourished children face a significantly higher risk of death, and over 1 million people may face emergency levels of food insecurity in the region. Strong political will and support for agriculture are also emphasized as crucial in addressing hunger and malnutrition.
The United Nations warned on Friday that some 700,000 children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition in Nigeria.
They added that up to 2 million children under the age of five are likely to face the most immediate and life-threatening form of malnutrition in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states, as reported by the News Agency of Nigeria.
This comes as the UN appeals once again for $400 million to prevent widespread hunger and malnutrition in northeast Nigeria.
Associate Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, Ms. Stephanie Tremblay, said at a news conference at the UN headquarters in New York said the funding will allow humanitarian organisations to swiftly expand food and nutrition assistance and provide clean water and sanitation, healthcare, protection, and logistics. she added:
- “To kickstart the response, the UN has released a combined US$18 million.
- “The Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, has allocated US$ 9 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), and the Humanitarian Coordinator, Matthias Schmale, will be disbursing a further US$ 9 million from the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund.”
Tremblay said that the UN needs the cash injection of funding accounts for less than 5 percent of what humanitarian organisations require to address the most urgent food and nutrition needs, citing that 700,000 children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition, which means they are 11 times more likely to die compared to well-nourished children.
- “Without a rapid and significant scale-up of humanitarian assistance, more than one million people may face emergency levels of food insecurity in the region.
- “Two million children under the age of five, are likely to face the most immediate and life-threatening form of malnutrition.
- “We will only be able to reach about 300,000 of the 4.3 million at-risk people in need of food assistance during the peak of the lean season. Another illustration of why funding is so important.”
In a different event on Friday, the United Nations also urged that Nigeria needs strong political will to fight hunger and malnutrition. The United Nations (UN) Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Matthias Schmale, said the government needs to support agriculture to help people fight hunger that had deepened food crises and malnutrition as a result of years of protracted conflict and insecurity.
- “Combination of fuel and food inflation, the naira cash crisis earlier in the year, and climate shocks are among factors that have worsened the crisis.
- “I have seen firsthand the anguish of mothers fighting for the lives of their malnourished infants in our partner-run stabilisation centers, a situation no one should have to face.
- “I have spoken with children who described going for days without eating enough, and mothers who saw their children go to bed crying from hunger.
- “Families are struggling to feed their families as they have gone for months without receiving food assistance.”
What you should know
Earlier this year, Nairametrics reported that the United Nations warned that 25 million Nigerians were at risk of hunger between June and August this year, calling for urgent action to be taken to reverse this.
The UN urged public and private stakeholders to commit resources to address food insecurity in the country.
Ms. Stephanie Tremblay warned that urgent actions must be taken this year to prevent 25 million Nigerians from facing hunger. Tremblay said:
- “Nearly 25 million Nigerians are at risk of hunger between June and August this year if urgent action is not taken.
- “This is according to the October 2022 Cadre Harmonisé, a food and nutrition analysis led by the government of Nigeria in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organisation, UNICEF, and the World Food Programme”.
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