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Hunger, starvation and malnutrition : The plight of children in North East Nigeria

Horrific images emerged over the weekend after delegates of the Nigerian government, United Nations, United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and other international aid groups visited some of the internally displaced people (IDP’s) affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in the North eastern part of Nigeria.  
The United Nations  (UN) has warned that at least 50,000 children might die this year due to hunger and malnutrition in the North Eastern part of Nigeria which was previously ravaged by the dreaded Islamic sect Boko Haram.
The seven year campaign of the Islamic sect killed at least 20,000 people and displaced about 2.4 million people. Over last year the Joint Military Task force (JTF), comprising essentially of the Nigeria Army and troops from neighbouring countries were able to recapture most of the territories lost to the Islamic sect and rescue thousands of people held by the sect.
The activity of the sect resulted  in destruction of farm lands, markets, severe food insecurity and acute malnutrition in the north eastern part of Nigeria. The children are so malnourished that they were looking stunted and extremely emaciated. The images can be likened to those of the children that suffered malnutrition during the Biafra war that lasted between 1967-1970.   
According to the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation, 188 people have died in IDP camp in Bama, Borno State between May 23 and June 22, while 1,200 graves have been dug near the camp, many of which were for children who died of diarrhoea and malnutrition.
The UN acting humanitarian coordinator Munir Safieldin warned that 184 children might die every day as 7 or 8 children might die every hour unless urgent humanitarian aid is delivered to the children.
According to the UN more than 250,000 children in Borno might suffer malnutrition this year, and more than half a million people need urgent food and humanitarian aid.
UNICEF Country Representative to Nigeria, Jean Gough said that the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) released US$13 million to provide humanitarian relief for 250,000 internally displaced people in the north-east Nigeria on 27 of June, 2016.
She went on to say that “The UN and other humanitarian partners are urgently seeking additional donor funding of US$204 million for continued humanitarian response in the north-east.

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