Up to 80,000 children will die in northeastern Nigeria without much-needed humanitarian assistance, a senior UN official said. Boko Haram’s insurgency has left tens of thousands dead, and millions more displaced.
UN Assistant Secretary-General Toby Lanzer said that without further assistance, northern Nigeria and surrounding areas impacted by the Boko Haram militant group’s onslaught will become the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
The militant group’s seven-year insurgency, aimed at establishing a so-called caliphate, has left at least 20,000 people dead and displaced more than 2.5 million people in the region. The death toll is likely higher due to consequences of the conflict, including fatalities caused by severe malnutrition and lack of access to medical supplies.
“We know that over the next 12 months, 75,000 – maybe as many as 80,000 – children will die in the northeast of Nigeria, unless we can reach them with specialized therapeutic food,” Lanzer added.
More than 6 million people are described as “severely food insecure” across the Lake Chad region, according to UN figures.
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