UN official claims severe hunger affecting 4.3m people in Nigeria

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The United Nations humanitarian official in Nigeria, Mr. Matthias Schmale, claimed on Wednesday severe hunger was affecting 4.3 million people in the country’s North-East states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe.

Schmale, who addressed journalists in Geneva, Switzerland, said the number of children under five at risk of life-threatening severe acute malnutrition had doubled in one year to reach 700,000.

He said: “I have been to Borno and the other two states several times.

“I have seen mothers fighting for the lives of their malnourished children in nutrition stabilization centres.

“Those of us who are parents must imagine what it’s like when you cannot ensure your children have enough to eat.”

READ ALSO: Nigeria needs a courageous leader to tackle insecurity, hunger in North-East – UN

The catastrophic situation is primarily the result of more than a decade of insecurity linked to non-state armed groups which prevents people from farming and earning income from the land.

Another harmful factor is climate change and extreme weather impacts.

Nigeria witnessed its worst floods in 10 years in 2022 with more than 4.4 million people across the country, including the North-East, affected.

Soaring prices of food, fuel, and fertilisers have exacerbated the crisis, and the response remains severely underfunded.

The UN official said that out of the $1.3 billion in humanitarian funding needed for the region, only 25 percent had been secured so far.

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