NIGERIA: 75,000 Children Face Starvation, UNICEF Warns

BORNO STATE SEPTEMBER 30, 2016 (CISA) – United Nations children’s agency, UNICEF has said that famine-like conditions in northeast Nigeria could kill 75,000 children over the next year if they do not receive aid.

“The 75,000 is from the three states – Borno, Yobe and Adamawa,” UNICEF spokesman Patrick Rose, said in a statement referring to the number of children in those areas who could die over the next year, reported Reuters.

The affected areas are former stronghold of Boko Haram militants who have waged a seven-year insurgency leading to the killing of over 15,000 people and more than two million displaced.

The militant group has however been pushed back to its stronghold in the northeast’s vast Sambisa forest in the last few months.

The UN agency has said 400,000 children aged under five would suffer from severe acute malnutrition in those states, which have been worst hit by the insurgency, and more than four million people faced severe food shortages in the region.

The agency called for military escorts for aid workers trying to reach areas affected by the crisis, which has been aggravated by high food prices and scarce reserves from the last harvest.

UNICEF also said it had increased the sum sought in its humanitarian appeal to help malnourished children in the region, where food supplies are close to running out, to $115 million – more than double the previous amount of $55 million. It said it had so far received just $28 million, which it said “presents a serious obstacle to UNICEF’s scale up plan.”

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