The UN launched a $1.3 billion appeal on Thursday to help six million people severely affected by conflict, disease, and disaster in northeast Nigeria.
The large-scale humanitarian and protection crisis shows no sign of abating,” said Matthias Schmale, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria. “An estimated 2.4 million people are in acute need – impacted by conflict, disaster and disease – and require urgent support.”
The “ticking time bomb” of child malnutrition is escalating in Nigeria’s northeast, with the number of children suffering from acute malnutrition projected to increase to two million in 2023, up from 1.74 million last year, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.
Already high levels of severe acute malnutrition are projected to more than double from 2022 to a projected 697,000 this year.
“Women and girls are the hardest hit,” said Mr. Schmale. “Over 80 per cent of people in need of humanitarian assistance across Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states are women and children. They face increased risks of violence, abduction, rape and abuse.”
Without urgent action, 4,000 people in Bama, Borno state, are expected to face such catastrophic conditions as starvation, death, destitution, and extremely critical acute malnutrition levels become prevalent, OCHA said.
In 2022, the UN provided emergency assistance to almost 5 million people in Nigeria in response to these and other crises, including severe malnutrition in the northwest and the worst flooding Nigeria has seen in a decade.
Earlier this month, the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Alice Nderitu raised concerns about a worsening security situation, calling for urgent action to address conflicts and prevent atrocity crimes.
The 2023 plan prioritizes life-saving needs while working to reduce vulnerabilities and build resilience.