Nige­ria famine risk ris­ing, those in dan­ger may dou­ble in 2017

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -


Global food se­cu­rity mon­i­tors said yesterday that Nige­ria’s Borno state was at in­creased risk of famine, with one study pro­ject­ing the num­ber of those af­fected will rise to 115,000 in 2017 from 55,000 this year. The north­east­ern state is the area worst hit by the seven-year Boko Haram in­sur­gency that has killed 15,000 peo­ple and up­rooted more than 2 mil­lion dur­ing the Is­lamist mil­i­tants’ at­tempt to cre­ate a “caliphate” in the area.

The In­te­grated Food Se­cu­rity Phase Clas­si­fi­ca­tion (IPC), which is backed by UN and other aid agen­cies, is­sued a spe­cial alert call­ing for ur­gent hu­man­i­tar­ian ac­tion. “There is an el­e­vated like­li­hood that famine is on­go­ing and will con­tinue in the in­ac­ces­si­ble ar­eas of Borno State as­sum­ing con­di­tions will re­main sim­i­lar or worse to those ob­served in Bama and Banki towns from April to Au­gust of 2016,” it said. “The cur­rent re­sponse is in­suf­fi­cient to meet the very large emer­gency as­sis­tance needs.”

Peo­ple dis­placed by con­flict are worst af­fected, it said, adding that low crop pro­duc­tion, dis­rupted liveli­hoods and fi­nan­cial cri­sis were also to blame. Nige­rian mil­i­tary forces backed by troops from neigh­bor­ing states have in re­cent months ousted Boko Haram from most of an area the size of Bel­gium that they con­trolled un­til early 2015, re­veal­ing thou­sands liv­ing in famine-like con­di­tions. The US-based Famine Early Warn­ing Sys­tems Net­work (FEWS NET) has said at least 2,000 peo­ple may have died of famine in the re­gion this year, and the United Na­tions has said 75,000 chil­dren could starve to death over the next few months if they do not re­ceive hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance.

The IPC cited a re­port by the UN-backed Cadre Har­mo­nize, a re­gional food se­cu­rity part­ner­ship that found 115,000 peo­ple in Borno state and more than 5,000 in Yobe state would be at risk from famine in the sec­ond half of 2017. The FEWS NET study had con­firmed the alarm­ing sit­u­a­tion and re­vealed an on­go­ing el­e­vated risk of famine that was likely to con­tinue into 2017, the IPC state­ment said. — Reuters

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