The United Nations International Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has raised alarm that about 440 thousand children may face severe malnutrition before the end of 2019, if actions are not urgently taken.
The children who are likely to face the scourge are in northern Nigeria, predominantly in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.
This was contained in a presentation made by UNICEF nutrition specialist, Abigail Nyukuri, at United Kingdom Department for International Development, DFID, sponsored media dialogue in Maiduguri, on Thursday.
Ms Nyukuri said the malnutrition situation has reached global emergency, hence the need for local and international attention to salvage the situation.
The specialist however said that the figure was expected to drop to 258,950 in 2020.
“Breakdown of figure for 2019 indicated that 11 per cent of children in Borno suffer SAM, 13 per cent in Yobe and six per cent in Adamawa.’’
She said the problem of malnutrition was worsened by inability of local and international health and rescue workers to access some communities in Rann, Magumeri, Jere and Konduga LGAs in Borno due to recent increase in activities of insurgents.
Ms Nyukuri added that N4.4 billion was required to close the gap for the procurement of Ready -to-Use Therapeutic Food, RUTF, for malnourished children.
She also said that the RUTF was needed be distributed to malnourished children in Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camps.