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UN must recognize ‘critical emergency’ malnutrition crisis in northwest Nigeria

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  A malnutrition crisis in northwest Nigeria described as catastrophic and a critical emergency has yet to be recognized by the UN The lack of recognition means that there is no funding and few organizations can respond to the crisis in an area where thousands of children are seriously ill The UN must include northwestern Nigeria in the humanitarian response plan and the international community must urgently respond to the emergency As the malnutrition crisis in northwestern Nigeria continues at catastrophic levels M decins Sans Fronti res MSF is calling on the humanitarian community to respond to the emergency needs of people in the region and for northwestern Nigeria to be included in the UN humanitarian response plan allowing a broader and more sustained response Since the beginning of 2022 MSF teams have witnessed an extraordinarily high number of malnourished children in MSF programs located in five northwestern Nigerian states Multiple factors have led to a sharp increase in malnutrition in the region over the past year With rising insecurity climate change and global food price inflation in a post pandemic world we can only imagine this crisis getting worse says Dr Simba Tirima MSF representative in Nigeria The Nigerian authorities need support to deal with a crisis of this magnitude This must now include emergency humanitarian funding for organizations capable of responding and a commitment to include north western Nigeria in the UN humanitarian response plan for 2023 says Dr Tirima Since January MSF teams working in collaboration with Nigerian health authorities have treated nearly 100 000 children suffering from acute malnutrition in 34 outpatient centres We have also admitted around 17 000 children requiring hospital care in 10 hospitalization centers in Kano Zamfara Katsina Sokoto and Kebbi states In Zamfara state one of the areas most affected by ongoing violence and banditry we recorded a 64 increase in the number of severely malnourished children treated in MSF supported outpatient nutrition departments from January to August 2022 compared to January to August 2022 August 2021 Our nutrition surveys have also underlined the severity of the crisis even in areas less affected by violence and insecurity In the Mashi local government area of Katsina state MSF found a global acute malnutrition rate of 27 4 and a severe acute malnutrition rate of 7 1 in June despite the community being relatively free from violence and forced displacement These rates indicate a critical emergency The current UN humanitarian response plan for Nigeria focuses on the critical situation in the northeast region of the country excluding the northwest Unlike MSF which is not funded by the humanitarian response plan many organizations are currently unable to respond to acute needs in the northwest because they rely on the response plan for funding We understand that the United Nations donors and other stakeholders are increasingly aware of the scope of the crisis in the northwest but it is necessary to go beyond discussions said Froukje Pelsma MSF head of mission in Nigeria It is essential that the North West be included in Nigeria s next humanitarian response plan for 2023 because it plays a key role in mobilizing resources to save lives
UN must recognize ‘critical emergency’ malnutrition crisis in northwest Nigeria

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Sans Fronti

A malnutrition crisis in northwest Nigeria, described as catastrophic and a critical emergency, has yet to be recognized by the UN.

nigerian dailies today

The lack of recognition means that there is no funding and few organizations can respond to the crisis in an area where thousands of children are seriously ill.

nigerian dailies today

The UN must include northwestern Nigeria in the humanitarian response plan and the international community must urgently respond to the emergency.

As the malnutrition crisis in northwestern Nigeria continues at catastrophic levels, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is calling on the humanitarian community to respond to the emergency needs of people in the region and for northwestern Nigeria to be included in the UN humanitarian response plan.

allowing a broader and more sustained response.

Since the beginning of 2022, MSF teams have witnessed an extraordinarily high number of malnourished children in MSF programs located in five northwestern Nigerian states.

Multiple factors have led to a sharp increase in malnutrition in the region over the past year.

“With rising insecurity, climate change and global food price inflation in a post-pandemic world, we can only imagine this crisis getting worse,” says Dr Simba Tirima, MSF representative in Nigeria.

“The Nigerian authorities need support to deal with a crisis of this magnitude.”

“This must now include emergency humanitarian funding for organizations capable of responding and a commitment to include north-western Nigeria in the UN humanitarian response plan for 2023,” says Dr Tirima.

Since January, MSF teams working in collaboration with Nigerian health authorities have treated nearly 100,000 children suffering from acute malnutrition in 34 outpatient centres.

We have also admitted around 17,000 children requiring hospital care in 10 hospitalization centers in Kano, Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and Kebbi states.

In Zamfara state, one of the areas most affected by ongoing violence and banditry, we recorded a 64% increase in the number of severely malnourished children treated in MSF-supported outpatient nutrition departments from January to August 2022, compared to January to August 2022.

August 2021.

Our nutrition surveys have also underlined the severity of the crisis, even in areas less affected by violence and insecurity.

In the Mashi local government area of ​​Katsina state, MSF found a global acute malnutrition rate of 27.4% and a severe acute malnutrition rate of 7.1% in June, despite the community being relatively free from violence and forced displacement.

These rates indicate a critical emergency.

The current UN humanitarian response plan for Nigeria focuses on the critical situation in the northeast region of the country, excluding the northwest.

Unlike MSF, which is not funded by the humanitarian response plan, many organizations are currently unable to respond to acute needs in the northwest because they rely on the response plan for funding.

“We understand that the United Nations, donors and other stakeholders are increasingly aware of the scope of the crisis in the northwest, but it is necessary to go beyond discussions,” said Froukje Pelsma, MSF head of mission in Nigeria.

“It is essential that the North West be included in Nigeria’s next humanitarian response plan for 2023, because it plays a key role in mobilizing resources to save lives.”

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