By Asmau Ahmad
United Nations and partners on Tuesday appealed for $396 million to stave off hunger and acute malnutrition among children in the north-east Nigeria and to help people get through the upcoming lean season.
UN Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq, made the appeal at a news conference at UN headquarters in New York.
“We alerted last week, 4.3 million people in the Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States risk severe hunger from June to August, and child malnutrition is expected to rise with some 700,000 children at risk of severe wasting.
“Without additional funding, humanitarian organisations will only be able to reach about 300,000 of the people at risk.
“As we have seen in previous years, early funding can help pull food insecure households back from the brink,” he said.
Briefing on Sudan, Haq said the number of people internally displaced by the fighting had more than doubled in the past week.
“The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) says more than 700,000 people are now internally displaced by the violence – that’s compared to 340,000 people as of last Tuesday.
“Before the fighting began, some 3.7 million people were already internally displaced in Sudan, mainly in Darfur,” he said.
Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) says it will need nearly 13,000 tonnes of food to reach some 384,000 people across the states of Gedaref, Gezira, Kassala and White Nile.
WFP currently has some 8,000 tonnes of food stocks in Port Sudan.
“In the coming days, the agency is expecting the arrival of two ships carrying food and supplies to treat moderate acute malnutrition.
“Since restarting food distributions last week, WFP says more than 35,000 people have been reached across Gedaref and Kassala, with distributions also underway in White Nile,” Haq said.