Save the Children International has expressed deep concerns over millions of children who have been going through a decade of suffering, violence and humanitarian crisis in Northeast Nigeria
“Thousands and thousands have died, and many more saw their rights impacted to survive, learn and be protected,” Shannon Ward, the Acting Country Director for Save the Children International in Nigeria said in a statement.
A recent report by the UN found that 4.4 million people in Northeast Nigeria are at the verge of famine and hunger as attacks by militants are forcing farmers away from their farmland.
The international child rights group expressed disapproval on the attacks and displacement of farmers and other civilians in the Northeast.
According to Ward, the group was disturbed to find that an estimated 2.3 million children and youth, including some 700,000 children under five are going hungry in the Northeast region.
At least 2.2 million civilians, she said, have left their homes because of the violence, without their families and children wanting food, no safe place to live and for most children no education.
“The situation in the northeast is extremely dire. Thousands and thousands have died, and many more saw their rights impacted to survive, learn and be protected,” Ward said.
She further disclosed that coupled with the effect of the COVID-19, the report on loss of livelihoods, land and crops is beyond something the community can bear which will lead to a surge in food crisis in the Northeast.
“We urge the Federal and State Governments for the support and safety of farmers to work on their lands and feed their families and communities and also safe access for humanitarian workers,” she said.
She also called on the international community to commit more resources to address the needs of the displaced people.
“Children, girls and women are vulnerable at this point, because of the desperate means to survive and family separation, they marry off their children exposing them to gender based violence, physical and sexual abuse. Many children will be urged to drop out of school, and some will never return with their childhood dream fading away,” she raised an alarm.
She added that the group remained committed to working with the authorities in the Northeast to deliver urgent, life-saving humanitarian assistance for children and their families who are in dire need.
Save the Children was one of the first humanitarian organisations that responded to the humanitarian crisis in the Northeast, reaching 1.2 million people since the start of our response.
The organisation is providing food assistance and protection services to more than 320,000 children and families on a regular basis.
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