Child Malnutrition in Nigeria a ‘Ticking Time Bomb’ – Report

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has said that 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 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.”

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. At least two million people have been displaced due to conflict, many of them experiencing daily threats to their health and safety.

The UN has now launched a U.S. $1.3 billion appeal to help six million people severely affected by conflict, disease, and disaster in the country.

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.

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