The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned that as many as 75,000 children will die over the next year in famine-like conditions created by Boko Haram if donors don’t respond quickly.
This is far more than the 20,000 people killed in the seven-year Boko Haram carnage.
The severity of malnutrition levels and high number of children facing death make the humanitarian crisis confronting northeastern Nigeria perhaps the worst in the world, according to Arjan de Wagt, nutrition chief for UNICEF in Nigeria. According to him, children are already dying because donors are not responding.
Most severely malnourished children die of secondary illnesses like diarrhoea and respiratory infections, de Wagt said.
He added that severe malnutrition is being found in 20, 30 and even 50 percent of children in pockets of the region.
The Nigerian Army have so far limited the influence of the Islamist terrorist group, with some roads being reopened.