More than eight million people are in need in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states, and an estimated 600,000 people face urgent levels of food insecurity because of concentrated extremist violence. around Lake Chad, now in its 12th year.
Boko Haram remains a threat
Although the previously dominated Boko Haram militia has been significantly weakened since the group’s leader was killed more than a year ago, it continues to carry out indiscriminate attacks, Top UN aid official in Nigeria, Matthias Schmale. Another extreme branch, ISWAP, is also dangerous, although it has also met with setbacks, he noted.
As in previous years, the staggering one million people are also beyond the reach of international relief teams, said Schmale, the UN’s Acting Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator in Nigeria.
Briefing of Member States in Geneva on the situation in Southeast Asia #Nigeria, calling on the international community to obtain emergency resources to assist the most vulnerable children, including 1.7 million food-insecure children. 8.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance by 2022 & 4.1 million people facing food insecurity this lean season pic.twitter.com/0dGB9q0r8D
– Matthias Schmale (@matzschmale) June 21, 2022
More than 80% of those in need are women and children.
He told journalists in Geneva that the United Nations was aiming to assist at least 5.5 million, out of a total of 8.4 million in need. “The conflict left behind 2.2 million people are currently displaced… We have just entered the so-called lean season, which usually lasts until September; last year it lasted until november so We are also seeing the effects of climate change. ”
No oil dividends
Mr. Schmale noted that although Nigeria is a major oil producer, it lacks refineries, which means it has not benefited from the increase in global energy pricesrelated to the war in Ukraine.
“It is still early days to understand the full impact, as you may know, in Nigeria from the very beginning there has been speculation about whether Nigeria will benefit as an oil producing country.
In fact, we don’t see it at all, because Nigeria, this sounds like a contradiction, is heavily dependent on refined oil imports, so the price increase we see is not beneficial. benefit Nigeria, that’s a concern. ”
The United Nations official stressed that in time, the giant nation can feed itself and avoid increasingly expensive food imports, even though it currently lacks infrastructure and agricultural investment. necessary to compete on a global level.
Of particular concern is 1.74 million children under 5 years of age who will experience acute malnutrition in the Northeast in the coming months.
“An important message is ringing alarm bells,” Mr. Schmale said. “If we don’t get immediate funding for the $350 million initial response plan soon, we’re in for a crisis that will be much worse in a few months.”
He added: “We hope that the international community realizes that you ignore a situation like that in northeast Nigeria at your own peril; it could have far-reaching consequences beyond Nigeria’s borders if we can’t keep it stable. “