UN Calls On Urgent Actions Against Acute Malnutrition In Nigeria, 14 other Countries

The United Nations has called on urgent actions against acute malnutrition and food crises affecting what it described as 15 worst affected countries around the world, Nigeria included.

Nigeria is listed as one of the 15 countries most hit by food and nutrition crises due the humanitarian crises in the Northeast. The situation is predicted to get worse in 2023 if actions are not taken. 

According to the World Food Programme (WFP),  because of the armed conflict affecting Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa, 4.4 million people are facing acute hunger and 320,000 children are suffering from acute malnutrition.

The fourteen other countries listed by the organisation are Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Yemen.

On Thursday, Jan. 12, the United Nations (UN) made an urgent call against acute malnutrition and food crises that are affecting 15 most affected countries around the world.

In a statement published by WFP, the UN agencies “are calling for urgent action to protect the most vulnerable children in the 15 countries hardest hit by an unprecedented food and nutrition crisis.”

According to the statement, more than 30 million children from those countries suffer from acute malnutrition and 8 million out of these children are described as “severely wasted”.

“The UN agencies call for decisive and timely action to prevent this crisis from becoming a tragedy for the world’s most vulnerable children. All agencies urge for greater investment in support of a coordinated UN response that will meet the unprecedented needs of this growing crisis, before it is too late,” the statement warned.

As part of the global response, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are calling for accelerated progress on the Global Action Plan on Child Wasting.

“The Global Action Plan addresses the need for a multi-sectoral approach and highlights priority actions across maternal and child nutrition through the food, health, water and sanitation, and social protection systems,” WFP has stated. 

This was aimed at preventing, detecting, and treating acute malnutrition among children in the worst-affected countries. 

“This situation is likely to deteriorate even further in 2023,” QU Dongyu, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, stated. 

“We must ensure availability, affordability and accessibility of healthy diets for young children, girls, and pregnant and lactating women. We need urgent action now to save lives, and to tackle the root causes of acute malnutrition, working together across all sectors.” Qu added. 

“The UN system is responding as one to this crisis and the UN Global Action Plan on Child Wasting is our joint effort to prevent, detect and treat wasting globally. At UNHCR we are working hard to improve analysis and targeting to ensure that we reach children who are most at risk, including internally displaced and refugees’ populations,” Filippo Grandi, High Commissioner at United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), stated. 

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Usman Abba Zanna

Usman is a multimedia journalist covering conflict, humanitarian crises, development, and peace in the Lake Chad region. He is also a media and conflict management consultant.

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