Nigeria: UN warns of worsening crisis in NE

By Rafiu Ajakaye

LAGOS, Nigeria (AA) – Nearly a million children caught in the Boko Haram insurgency are acutely malnourished, with thousands of them at the risk of death, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) warned on Monday.

In a report, the UN said at least 440,000 of the children suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) while 500,000 others battle moderate acute malnutrition.

“The latest data on new arrivals show high levels of humanitarian need, including critical levels of malnutrition. Since mid‐July 2018 more than one in four (26 percent) of children arriving from inaccessible areas are screening positive for SAM and 48 percent are screening positive for Global Acute Malnutrition [GAM],” the report added.

The report said an estimated 27,000 people have been killed across three northeastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe since 2009 while some 1.83 million people are currently displaced across the states.

“In 2017, 1,462 children (mainly girls) were used as human bombs. In 2018, 43 children were used in attacks in the first six months,” it added.

“From November 2017 to mid‐August 2018, Borno and Adamawa states have seen the movement of nearly 190,000 individuals (153,000 IDP new arrivals and 36,000 returnees). This exacerbates a situation where vulnerabilities are already on the rise as a result of the rainy season from June to September and resources are already overstretched.”