UN updates humanitarian situation in Nigeria
THE United Nations Information Service in Geneva on Tuesday updated the press on the humanitarian situation in Nigeria as a result of violence linked to Boko Haram insurgency.
The update, which was done by Bettina Luescher for World Food Population (WFP), was concerned by increased fighting and insecurity in the north-eastern and the border regions, which led to an increase in the number of refugees and internally displaced people.
A statement by the National Information Officer , United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Oluseyi Soremekun, quoting the update, said: “Close to 750,000 people were now food insecure.
WFP believed the security crisis could lead to prolonged hunger as it became more difficult for people to gain access to food and maintain a livelihood.” Children were especially vulnerable, and the number of women and children aged under five suffering from malnutrition in the areas affected by the Boko Haram violence was rising.
Health centres had reported a spike in the number of malnutrition cases they were seeing, it added. Luescher said: “WFP was increasing its operations to reach over 655,000 people in Cameroun, Chad, and Niger.
It was providing special nutritious food but was nevertheless concerned that the most vulnerable people were not receiving adequate assistance.
WFP appealed to the international community for US$16.3 million to pay for immediate and urgent assistance. Responding to questions about the beneficiaries of the WFP’s assistance, Luescher said WFP would reach 655,000 out of a total of 720,000 food insecure people. In the areas most affected by Boko Haram violence, the acute malnutrition surpassed WFP’s emergency threshold, reaching up to 22 per cent in some areas of Chad and 12 per cent in Cameroun.
Closed borders had played a part in the crisis as they halted trade and prevented access to farmlands, stopped herders from reaching grazing lands, and banned fishing for security reasons. Rural household in affected areas had sold more livestock than in previous years. One in three household had reported that they had incurred debt in order to purchase food, she said.