$1.3bn needed to save 6 million Nigerians from starvation, death – UN

The 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan for northeast Nigeria launched on Friday requests $1.3 billion to provide critical lifesaving assistance to 6 million people.

The citizens are suffering from the devastating impact of the continuing 13-year-long non-international armed conflict.

The latest figure is an increase of 500,000 people from the 5.5 million people in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe, States identified for assistance in 2022.

“The large-scale humanitarian and protection crisis shows no sign of abating,” said Matthias Schmale, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria.

The official added that an estimated 2.4 million people are in acute need – impacted by conflict, disaster, and disease – and require urgent support.

The UN says approximately 4.4 million people are expected to face food insecurity in the 2023 lean season, up from 4.1 million in 2022.

The world body warned that without urgent action, 4,000 people in Bama, Borno, could be in ‘catastrophe’ (Phase 5) conditions, in which starvation, death, destitution, and acute malnutrition levels become prevalent.

Child malnutrition is escalating, with the number of children suffering from acute malnutrition projected to increase to 2 million in 2023, up from 1.74 million in 2022

The UN observed that high levels of severe acute malnutrition are projected to more than double, from 300,000 children affected last year to a projected 697,000 this year.

“Over 80 per cent of people in need of humanitarian assistance across Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe States are women and children. They face increased risks of violence, abduction, rape, and abuse”, Schmale stated.

Children, girls, women, and people with disabilities, the most affected during conflicts, according to the UN, require additional attention, protection, and quality of basic health, nutrition, water, sanitation, hygiene, and learning services.

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