from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – CHILDREN are bearing the brunt of the food insecurity in Nigeria, where some 25 million people are at the risk of facing hunger this lean season.
The season runs from June to August.
Currently, 17 million people are at risk of food insecurity amid continued conflict, climate change, inflation and rising food prices.
Approximately 6 million of these food-insecure Nigerians are children under the age of five, who live in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe (BAY), Sokoto, Katsina and Zamfara states, where insurgent groups are rife.
There is a serious risk of mortality among children attributed to acute malnutrition.
In the BAY states alone, the number of children suffering from acute malnutrition is expected to increase from 1,74 million in 2022 to 2 million in 2023.
“The food security and nutrition situation across Nigeria is deeply concerning,” said Matthias Schmale, the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria.
“I have visited nutrition stabilization centres filled with children who are fighting to stay alive. We must act now to ensure they and others get the lifesaving support they need.”
The United Nations Children’s Fund, working with the government and partners, is investing in scaling up preventive nutrition interventions, while ensuring that vulnerable children have access to life-saving nutrition services.
In 2022, they were able to reach approximately 650 000 children with life-saving nutrition services across the states mentioned above.
– CAJ News