Over 700,000 children are likely to suffer from life-threatening malnutrition in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states this year, the United Nations says.
The UN has earmarked $20 million (₦13.2 billion) to address the crisis in North East Nigeria, sourced from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF).
The amount is much less than the $400 million the UN has said it requires.
The crisis will be much worse than last year, with many more children suffering “severe acute malnutrition”, according to the United Nations.
“This marks a significant increase from 2022, when there were half as many cases, and four times the number in 2021,” according to the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Matthias Schmale.
“The CERF funding, totaling $9 million, will be complemented by an additional NHF allocation of $11 million, which will go towards coordinating a multi-sector response in support of government efforts,” Schmale said.
The UN Children’s Fund will receive $2 million (₦1.32 billion) of the funds for the prevention and treatment of acute malnutrition, including providing ready-to-eat therapeutic food.
Schmale warned that the situation could deteriorate further, especially with the lean season between June and August, which is the peak of food insecurity, as indicated in the March 2023 Cadre Harmonisé Analysis. Over 500,000 people in the three insurgency-affected states have been projected to face emergency levels of food insecurity, a step away from famine.
The UN’s allocation includes $6 million for the World Food Programme to provide food security interventions for 95,000 extremely food-insecure people in three garrison towns of Borno State. While the funds represent a significant step towards mitigating the crisis, more support is needed to ensure that the most vulnerable, particularly children, are not left behind.
HumAngle has reported how Cases of malnutrition have been rising rapidly in the past few months in northeast Nigeria, especially among children living in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.
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