UN Urges International Assistance to Address the Growing Hunger Crisis in Nigeria

news 28-Jun-2023 Africa

UN Calls for Assistance to Nigeria

Millions of people in northeastern Nigeria are facing the threat of hunger. The United Nations is urging for humanitarian aid to be provided to the most populous country in Africa and calling on the international community to fulfill their pledged funding.

Growing Crisis in Nigeria's Northeast Requires Urgent Aid

According to the United Nations (UN), an increasing number of people in Nigeria are experiencing desperate conditions. In the insurgency-threatened northeast region, approximately six million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, stated Matthias Schmale, the coordinator of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Geneva.

Hunger Crisis Looms for Millions in Northeast Nigeria

In the northeastern states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe, 4.3 million people are directly threatened by hunger in the coming months, prior to the harvest. A staggering 700,000 children under the age of five are at risk of acute life-threatening malnutrition, which is double the number from 2022 and four times higher than in 2021.

Delays in Funding Exacerbate the Situation

"This crisis is primarily the result of years of conflict and insecurity, which continue to hinder many people from engaging in agriculture or earning an income," said Schmale. The economic situation in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa with approximately 260 million people, further exacerbates the crisis.

Urgent Need for Disbursement of Pledged Funds

The UN emergency relief program is urging the international community to disburse the allocated funds. So far, only 25% of the requested $1.3 billion (€1.2 billion) for humanitarian aid in northeastern Nigeria has been financed.

Lingering Conflict and Insecurity Contribute to the Crisis

The northeastern region of Nigeria has been plagued by jihadist attacks for over a decade, led by terrorist groups like Boko Haram. Deadly conflicts also persist in other parts of the country. As the once-leading oil producer in the continent, Nigeria is facing fuel shortages. The nation is heavily indebted, and inflation rates are high.

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