16, November 2016
The United Nations has warned that thousands of children will be at risk of dying in “a few months” across the militancy-riddled areas of northeastern Nigeria. Peter Lundberg, the UN humanitarian coordinator, said in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Tuesday that thousands of children could die from famine in the troubled region, adding that 400,000 children were in critical need of assistance, while 75,000 could die “in (the) few months ahead of us.”
Elsewhere in his remarks, the UN official said, “Currently our assessment is that 14 million people are identified as in need of humanitarian assistance.” Lundberg added that crisis was unfolding at “high speed” in Nigeria’s troubled northeast. The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, warned in July that some 49,000 children would die of malnutrition in northeastern Nigeria if they did not get treatment.
Most of the children are in areas that had been inaccessible before a multinational force liberated them from the Boko Haram Takfiri terrorist group earlier this year. Doctors Without Borders, also known by its French acronym as the MSF, had earlier warned of a “catastrophic humanitarian emergency” in the city of Bama, where, it said, 200 people died in June.
Despite the government’s fight against Boko Haram, the security situation remains volatile in Borno and specifically Maiduguri, because Boko Haram terrorists still carry out attacks. Boko Haram started its campaign of militancy in 2009 with the aim of toppling the central government in Nigeria. It has so far taken the lives of more than 20,000 people and forced over 2.7 million others from their homes. The group has pledged allegiance to the Daesh Takfiri terrorists operating mainly in Syria and Iraq.