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UN Begins Food Aid Delivery in Northern Nigeria Following Widespread Malnutrition



The United Nations (UN) on Friday, made the first food aid delivery in response to a malnutrition crisis in camps for thousands of internally displaced persons (IDP) in Banki, Borno state.

Internally displaced persons in Borno state have been facing a malnutrition crisis for many months which has led to the death of up to 200 displaced persons since March.

AFP reports that officials from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Friday delivered 30 tonnes of “various lifesaving food items.”

The OCHA officials said the food aid to address the Nigerian IDP malnutrition crisis was transported from neighbouring Cameroon. The convoy reached Banki on Thursday and has distributed food to the more than 25,000 people in the town.

“An additional 700 kilograms of supplementary food for malnourished children was airlifted from the state capital Maiduguri to Banki on the same day,” an OCHA statement said.

The federal government has made promises of addressing the malnutrition crisis while civil society groups have also rallied supplies to donate to the various camps in Borno and other states in the north-east.

The UN had in May, expressed concern about the IDP malnutrition crisis. It said up to 9.2 million people living around Lake Chad, which forms the border of Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger, were in desperate need of food.

According to the OCHA, aid distribution in Banki and other areas recently liberated by the Nigerian military was “scaling up” but more funds were needed to meet the “lifesaving needs” of people affected by Boko Haram violence in northeast Nigeria.

It is said that only 28 percent of the $279 million required by the UN to help those affected by the violence has been realised, leaving a $200 million shortfall.

Boko Haram’s insurgency has left at least 20,000 dead in Nigeria and devastated infrastructure in the northeast. The unrest has also displaced more than 2.6 million people.

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