Northeast Food Crisis Leaves 3.4m People In Need Of Nutrition Assistance
Food crisis caused by Boko Haram activities in northeast Nigeria has left 3.4 million people in need of nutrition assistance.
The region predominantly dominated by persons who engage in one form of farming activity or the other now experience food insecurity, as people are afraid to return to their farms.
They fear they could be attacked by remnants of the Boko Haram terrorist sect that has been decimated by the military.
The new figure was given by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) in a Humanitarian Situation Report for the month of September.
OCHA explained that 2.7 million people were targeted for immediate intervention, adding that only 936,200 people were reached with nutrition support within the period under review.
The report indicates that 3 Stabilisation Centres (SC) were set up at Damboa, Dikwa and Ngala Local Government Areas to enhance management of acute malnutrition.
To make service at the stabilisation centres available to those needing assistance, some 60 health personnel were also trained in Borno and Yobe States to enhance operations.
Effective modalities have also been evolved to streamline the Infant and Young Child Feeding scheme with the Blanket Supplementary Feeding and Emergency Food Distribution programmes to control the scourge.
The report adds that the UN, in collaboration with humanitarian partners, had decentralised activities in 8 local government areas of Borno State to combat malnutrition.
The report lists the affected areas as Damasak; Ngala, Dikwa, Bama, Gwoza, Kukawa, Kala-Balge, Gubio, Nganzai and Guzamala.
“The progress toward key indicators is on track except for the management of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) with medical complications, which remain hampered by the unavailability of services especially in the newly accessible areas.
“Lack of access to most areas has been the impediment in providing life-saving nutrition support to those in need.
“Nutrition activities are limited to few areas where humanitarian actors have access and where healthcare structures are in place,” it stated.
The report points out that about $6.5 million is required to implement five projects and facilitate smooth running of the nutrition support services in the affected communities.
There is a plan to conduct a maternal and child health week exercise to contain malnutrition in the insurgency ravaged region.
OCHA said that some of the activities lined up for the campaign included supplementation of micro-nutrients deficiency, screening and referral of under-5 children.
“The campaign is designed to help children who were not assisted under the routine exercises to achieve its target”, the report stated adding that mobile outreach is critical in the campaign.