The humanitarian organisations Save The Children has expressed concerned over its findings that an estimated 2.3 million children and youth, including some 700,000 children under five are going hungry in the northeast of Nigeria.
According to Shannon Ward, Acting Country Director, Save the Children International Nigeria, in a statement on Thursday, millions of children are going hungry in North East Nigeria as attacks are devastating lives through malnutrition hunger, abuse and trauma.
Ward also stated that a recent United Nations (UN) report found out that 4.4 million people in the area are on the brink of acute hunger as attacks by militants are forcing farmers away from their lands.
“Save the Children strongly condemns the reported attacks and displacement of farmers and other civilians in the North East, Nigeria.
“Around 2.2 million people have fled their homes because of the violence, leaving families and children wanting for food, a safe place to live and, for many children, an education.
“The situation in the northeast is extremely dire. Millions of children have already been through a decade of suffering, violence and humanitarian crisis. Thousands and thousands have died, and many more saw their rights impacted to survive, learn and be protected.”
Continuing, the Acting Country Director observed that, the reported loss of livelihoods, land and crop coupled with the effects of COVID-19 is beyond something the community can bear.
“We are extremely worried that this will lead to an even bigger food crisis in the northeast of the country.”
“We call upon the Federal and State Governments to ensure that farmers are supported and protected, so they can work their lands, and feed their families and communities. And we call for a safe access for humanitarian workers, so we can reach those most in need.
“Children, girls and women are more vulnerable at times of attack and displacement.
“As a result of overcrowding, family separation, a lack of basic social services and desparate measures people take just to survive, such as marrying off their children, they run a high risk of gender based violence, physical and sexual abuse.
“Many children will be urged to drop out of school, and some will never return – with their childhood dream fading away.
“We urge the State government and the international community to commit more resources to address the massive critical needs of the displaced people,” the acting country director added.
Save the Children was one of the first humanitarian organizations that responded to the humanitarian crisis in the North-East, reaching 1.2 million people since the start of its response.
The organization is providing food assistance and protection services to more than 320,000 children and families on a regular basis.
Ward affirmed Save the Children’s commitment to work with the authorities in the northeast of Nigeria to deliver urgent, life-saving humanitarian assistance for children and their families who are in dire need.
The statement is signed by Amanuel Mamo, Director of Advocacy and Campaigns, Save the Children International, Nigeria.