UN Humanitarians seek aid funding for almost 6 million Nigerian children

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Women and children that had earlier been kidnapped by Boko Haram militants are seen after been rescued by Nigerian troops in Borno State, Nigeria, Sept. 15, 2015. According to Nigeria's Army Spokesman Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, the rescued women and children were freed from Boko Haram's bondage during an operation on Tuesday morning. (Xinhua/Dare Sholarin)
(Xinhua/Dare Sholarin)

Under a deteriorating nutrition crisis in Nigeria, UN Humanitarians seek aid funds for almost 6 million children and 512,000 pregnant and lactating women in the country, a UN spokesman said on Wednesday.

“Our humanitarian colleagues are calling on the government and the donor community to urgently unlock resources,” said Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Dujarric said that an estimated 6 million children under the age of 5 in northern Nigeria face acute malnutrition from May 2022 to April 2023. More than 512,000 pregnant and lactating women also suffer from acute malnutrition.

He said that the more than 650,000 hectares of farmland damaged in recent flooding add to the problem.

“We and our partners are concerned that this will aggravate the situation,” said the spokesman.

Dujarric said that the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) would scale up the production and distribution of supplementary food powder to 10,000 households with funding from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund. The FAO also plans to distribute poultry, goats and feed to over 8,000 households, hand out food vouchers for 5,000 families and support 14,000 other homes with dry-season food production kits.

“We are calling for resources to sustain and scale up these humanitarian interventions,” Dujarric said, adding that the humanitarian response plan for the northeast of Nigeria is currently less than 50 percent funded. Enditem

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