from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE United Nations requires US$1,3 billion to provide critical lifesaving assistance to 6 million people suffering from the devastating impact of the 13-year long armed conflict in northeast Nigeria.
This is an increase of 500,000 people from the 5,5 million people identified for assistance in 2022.
“The large-scale humanitarian and protection crisis shows no sign of abating,” said the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Matthias Schmale.
“An estimated 2.4 million people are in acute need – impacted by conflict, disaster and disease – and require urgent support,” Schmale said.
Approximately 4.4 million people are expected to face food insecurity in the 2023 lean season, up from 4,1 million in 2022.
Child malnutrition is escalating in Nigeria’s north-east, with the number of children suffering projected to increase to 2 million in 2023, up from 1,74 million in last year.
The already 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.
“Women and girls are the hardest hit,” Schmale said.
Over 80 percent 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.
Despite facing severe access and funding constraints, the humanitarian community reached 4,7 million people with assistance in 2022 through the support of donors.
The Islamist insurgent Boko Haram group is behind the violations in northeast Nigeria.
Its militancy is a threat to general elections scheduled for February 25.
– CAJ News