450,000 Nigerian Children are Malnourished – NRC

The Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Mr. Jan Egeland has disclosed that about 800,000 children are severely malnourished in Africa.In a statement yesterday, Egeland said the children under the age of five were mainly in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad.

Egeland stressed that of this number, 450,000 were in Nigeria, 247,500 in Niger, 63,000 in Cameroon and 22,000 in Chad.He explained that 57 per cent of the funds needed to provide basic humanitarian needs were still lacking, six months after world leaders met to support the crisis in the Lake Chad region.Egeland urged that humanitarian funding and access should be made a priority in the Lake Chad’s consultative group.

He said a meeting of the group, involving the representatives from Germany, Norway, the United Nations (UN) and the four countries surrounding Lake Chad was scheduled to hold in Berlin today.

He explained that inadequate funding was hampering the council’s ability to deliver timely and life-saving assistance to the people in need, saying, “Until this is put in place, there would be no hope and stability in the region.”

“Donor countries have delivered most of the $460 million promised at the Oslo conference for 2017, but the pledges did not match the actual needs,” he said.He lamented that the council was not able to avert a massive loss of lives without large additional funding for its humanitarian operations in the conflict-ridden areas.

He added, “We need improved security for civilians and aid workers and access to all those in need, but we must also build a bigger humanitarian muscle to provide for the suffering millions.

“The Boko Haram’s violence has spread from northern Nigeria to Niger, Cameroon and Chad and also developed into violent confrontations with the security forces in the region.”

He added that the situation had forced millions of people to flee their homes and hampered their ability to cultivate their land, thereby causing a devastating food crisis.

He said 475,000 children suffered from severely acute malnutrition last year in the region, while in Nigeria, a total of 5.2 million people have no food security, with 50,000 of them already living in famine-like conditions.”


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