Imminent Mass Hunger Looms In Nigeria’s North-East Over Funding Gap – UN


The United Nations has raised alarm about an impending humanitarian crisis in northeastern Nigeria due to severe food shortages exacerbated by ongoing conflict. Despite efforts by the UN and Nigeria to secure $306 million in aid for 2.8 million people in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states, funding gaps remain critical. International donor hesitancy, compounded by economic challenges from COVID-19, has hindered fundraising efforts, with only $22 million secured so far. This shortfall is exacerbated by Nigeria’s high inflation and soaring food prices, further straining efforts to alleviate hunger.Mohamed Malick Fall of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warns that without immediate intervention, the situation could lead to catastrophic consequences, particularly for children. Already, over 120,000 children in the region have been treated for severe acute malnutrition, surpassing annual projections. Fall attributes the decline in funding to competing global crises and shrinking humanitarian aid budgets, posing significant challenges for sustaining relief efforts in the region.The impact of the insurgency, ongoing for 15 years, has left communities vulnerable during the lean season, exacerbating food insecurity. Despite initial commitments from Nigeria and the UN’s central funds, achieving the $306 million target remains uncertain. Fall anticipates receiving only $300 million at best, a decrease from previous years, highlighting the strain on humanitarian operations. He emphasizes the urgent need for sustained international support to prevent further deterioration of the humanitarian situation and avoid unnecessary loss of life.In conclusion, urgent action is required to address the escalating food crisis in northeastern Nigeria. The UN’s appeal for $306 million aims to mitigate the effects of conflict and economic instability, but current funding gaps threaten the viability of these efforts. With children particularly at risk of severe malnutrition and mortality, sustained international assistance is crucial to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in the region.

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