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Looming catastrophe in Nigeria’s refugee camps

West & Central Africa

Looming catastrophe in Nigeria’s refugee camps

Refugee Camp

Refugee Camp

The alarm has been raised by the UN over a developing catastrophe of starvation in refugee camps based in north eastern Nigeria.

UN Assistant Secretary-General Toby Lazer raised the issue in Brussels last week explaining that the UN had not been able to assess the full scale of human suffering. “We can estimate that it’s awful,” he said.

“We haven’t found the right words yet to describe the magnitude of the problem,” said Arjan de Wagt, Unicef’s chief of nutrition. “The world and Nigeria doesn’t realise how bad this is,” De Wagt said.

Getting needed food and medication to the over 4 million displaced persons in the region has been very dangerous in northeastern Nigeria. The inability to reach the refugees with food has increased the levels of children dying of malnutrition and other related diseases which the United Nations estimated to be about one million people.

Experts estimate that with the current recession in Nigeria and the government’s inability to route the Islamic insurgents in the northeast and end the terrorism, the casualties of children dying from starvation will be high.

The region currently holds the most devastated famine level “in severity level four” which makes it currently the worst in the world said De Wagt.

North east Nigeria has a largely Christian population now facing deaths on two fronts from the persecution and devastation of Boko Haram and by starvation in the camps.