49,000 Nigerian Children May Die of Hunger

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Nigeria's hungry children

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The ONE Campaign, an international humanitarian group, is raising an alarm on the serious humanitarian crisis in the North East of Nigeria, saying it may lead to the death of thousands of people, especially children

ABOUT 49,000 children are at the risk of dying of starvation in the North-Eastern part of the country unless an emergency food aid and medicaments are taken to the area. The ONE Campaign handed out the warning in a statement signed by Juliet Vedral, a leader of the group. The statement noted that as world leaders gather in New York US for an emergency high-level meeting to address the food and malnutrition crisis in the area, Bono, the lead singer of U2 and the co-founder of The ONE Campaign, commented that, “the world is facing multiple crises right now that are in large part symptoms of an unholy trinity: the ‘three extremes’ of extreme ideology, extreme poverty and extreme climate.”

Hence, the group said that the area would need an emergency food aid and other investments keep tens of thousands of children from starvation, disease and death. Bono said that “many of these crises are not getting the attention they deserve, but in Borno state in North-Eastern Nigeria, where I visited just a few weeks ago, they are warning that 49,000 kids will die in the next few months if emergency food aid does not arrive. This is madness.”

Bono
Bono

Besides, he said information the area had shown that the children from crisis-torn areas were “on the brink of starvation – and world leaders are standing by, refusing to provide the funds needed to avert this disaster. Of the $739 million needed, the world is 75 percent short and these children’s lives are hanging in the balance.”

Bono called on leaders gathering in New York on Friday, September 23, for the Lake Chad Emergency Appeal to “step-up and provide what is needed. We must address this immediate crisis, while also paving the pathway for longer-term solutions and interventions that can stop the endless cycle of conflict and poverty – and women and girls must be at the centre of this pathway forward.”

According to the press statement, The ONE Campaign the situation is particularly dire in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states, where 4.4 million people are in urgent need of food assistance, with malnourishment affecting 2.5 million children under 5 years old as well as pregnant and lactating women.

The most recent number of IDPs stands at 2.4 million, 1.9 million of which are in Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, and Yobe states.  One million children do not have access to education, and 19,000 teachers are displaced.

Dangote
Dangote

Aliko Dangote, Nigerian philanthropist and businessman, who recently hosted Bono in North East Nigeria, has similarly called for a ‘Marshall Plan’ scale of investment for the region to deal with the short term humanitarian crisis and the long term jobs crisis. Through the Aliko Dangote Foundation, the business mogul has contributed more than $10 million of his own funds to provide food relief to Internally Displaced people, IDPs, and construction materials to help rebuilding efforts.

Indeed, the Dangote Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have funded direct interventions with the Borno State government focused on both immediate humanitarian assistance for IDPs and land, fertilizers and improved seeds so that returning communities can farm and support themselves.

—  Oct 3, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT

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