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Northeast Nigeria Threatened By Famine, 4.3 Million Face Food Crisis

The United Nation Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs  (UNOCHA)  says that the protracted crisis in the Lake Chad Basin has left 12.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

It said the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and displacement of the population had worsened the humanitarian situation, especially in Northeast Nigeria where more than four million were facing food insecurity threat.

“After more than 10 years of protracted crisis, 12.5 million people need humanitarian assistance in the Lake Chad Basin. The COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread throughout the region, recording a total of more than 92,000 confirmed cases and 1,773 deaths, ” the agency reported.

“Violence continues to traumatise populations and disrupt relief operations, with over 100 security incidents recorded for the month of October.  Close to three (3) million people have been forced from their homes– lacking shelter, food and adequate access to clean water, hygiene and basic sanitation, ” the agency added.

“Across the region, the number of food-insecure people has increased dramatically due to conflict, displacement and COVID-related impacts on employment and access to food. 

“North-East Nigeria is at heightened risk of famine, with 4.3 million people facing crisis and emergency levels of food insecurity.  Acute malnutrition is critically high, with 500,000 children at risk of severe malnutrition.

” With increasing attacks on education, 1,117 schools remain closed. The complex crisis puts millions at risk and requires an urgent scale-up of support and resources. As of November 2020, only 44 per cent of the 1.83b required for the response was funded, ” UNOCHA said.

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Education from the University of Abuja.

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