Northeast Nigeria requires an average of one million dollars daily to provide food assistance for the victims of the Boko Haram terrorists, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), has said
Mr Peter Lundberg, the Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria in a press statement said there was the urgent need to scale up operations in the affected areas to prevent famine.
“Food assistance alone will cost one million dollars a day to avoid famine in a region where 450,000 children under five will suffer from severe acute malnutrition this year.
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“Sustained and timely financial support is needed to maintain the scale-up in operations desperately needed in the north-east of Nigeria,” he said.
Lundberg noted a recent visit by representatives of 12 donor countries and agencies to Borno, in the run up to the Feb. 24 Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and Lake Chad region.
“They (donors) lauded the scale-up of humanitarian operations in the north-east and emphasized the need for more funding, a stance the humanitarian community in Nigeria concurs with.
“We are grateful to our donors who have enabled us scale up the response and appreciate their continued commitment.
“We look forward to receiving the needed resources to implement the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria,” Lundberg said.
As relief organizations increase response to the humanitarian emergency in the northeast, he said timely donor support amounting to a little over one billion dollars is required to sustain life-saving assistance to millions people devastated by the Boko Haram-linked violence.
“If the resources do not arrive in time, one in five children suffering sever acute malnutrition could die.
“The likelihood of a child with severe acute malnutrition surviving is nine times less than a properly nourished child,” he added.
According to OCHA, the eight-year-long conflict has left some 8.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in the worst-affected states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
“In the coming months, around 5.1 million people will face severe food insecurity in the region, where some 1.8 million people have been displaced and millions are exposed to violence and abuse,” the UN OCHA official warned.