from AHMED OBAFEMI in Maiduguri, Nigeria
MAIDUGURI, (CAJ News) – THE outbreak of epidemics in Nigeria and neighbouring countries, coupled with a rising number of people experiencing severe hunger, demands urgent funding and resolution to conflict.
This is according to children’s empowerment organisations as it emerged an additional 2 million people would face critical food insecurity over the coming three months in Nigeria.
This will bring the total number of affected people to about 9 million.
“As of June, about 50 000 people in three states of Nigeria will be in famine conditions and will starve without urgent humanitarian support,” said Garth Van’t Hul, CARE International director for Nigeria.
Earlier this year, epidemics have broken out in Nigeria and Niger.
Close to 10 000 suspected meningitis cases and over 1 000 deaths were recorded in Nigeria since the outbreak in April.
In neighbouring Niger, which is strongly battered by the conflict, Hepatitis E has broken out for the first time , affecting one of the poorest countries in the world which has very few health facilities.
“This is adding another layer of misery for people who are trying to survive a violent conflict and rising food insecurity,” Vant’l Hul added.
The official is concerned women are mainly affected by the hepatitis outbreak.
The region requires more than US1 billion (R13 billion) to tackle the crisis.
Only 20 percent of the requirements have been funded.
“This is severely hampering relief efforts for millions of poor people and we urge donors to release these funds as soon as possible,” said Van’t Hul.
The crisis emanates from the Boko Haram terror group.
– CAJ News