NIGERIA: Sadiya Frouq, Nigeria’s Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, has stated that thousands of Nigerian children are at high risk of becoming severely malnourished. Farouq stated this in Abuja during the presentation of this year’s Humanitarian Response Plan for North-East Nigeria.
Farouq went on to say that many Nigerians from various walks of life have had their basic necessities tampered with and that this, combined with the country’s continued rise in the cost of foodstuffs, has put more vulnerable Nigerians in trouble and rendered them unable to feed themselves.
“Thousands of children are at risk of becoming severely malnourished, particularly during the lean season, which will have a negative impact on their future development,” Farouq explained.
During the event, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, stated that there has been an increase in humanitarian issues globally in recent years than ever before, and as a result, there is a need for improving humanitarian needs.
Leonard also stated that the humanitarian crisis is lasting longer than expected, affecting the lives of ordinary citizens.
“People can no longer pretend and wait for miracles to fall from the sky to turn the situation in Abuja or Maiduguri from crisis to development. The situation in Nigeria’s northeast should be viewed as a major humanitarian issue at this time,” Leonard stated.
1.4 million Nigerian children suffer from acute malnutrition
The United Nations interim resident and humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, Matthias Schmale, stated in his remarks that 1.4 million children in Nigeria’s northeast will face serious malnutrition problems as a result of the country’s ongoing insurgency crises.
“Hunger and starvation, on the other hand, are already ravaging children in the northeastern states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa. As a result, I am concerned about the dangers and challenges that may accompany the crises,” Schmale explained.
Schmale also stated that the report and survey data gathered since 2017 show that there is already a surge in the number of people admitted with malnutrition-related issues.
“I visited a nutrition stabilization center in Bama, Borno State last month and saw a facility being pushed to its maximum capacity, its staff determined to care for as many patients as possible. In the year ahead, 1.4 million children under five are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition,” Schmale said.
According to UN data, at least 8.4 million Nigerians from Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa stations require humanitarian assistance this year.
“Nigeria, the United Nations, and other international organizations are pleading for USD 1.1 billion in aid to help 5.5 million Nigerians this year. If the goal is met, it will go a long way toward assisting and improving people’s lives, as well as protecting the vulnerable from future crises,” according to Schmale.
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