Lake Chad Basin: Vulnerable People Near Starvation, UN Aid Chief
New York, 01/10/2017 (MAP) – The scale up of international assistance to the Lake Chad Basin this year has averted a famine in north-east Nigeria, even though millions of people are still suffering, according to the United Nations aid chief.
Having visited Niger and Nigeria earlier this month, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mark Lowcock, told reporters Thursday at UN Headquarters in New York: “There are still millions of people who have suffered a lot and continue to suffer, many of them just a step away from starvation.”
He said that in field visits to Ngagam in Diffa – “the poorest region in the poorest country in the world” – and to Maiduguri, Pulka, and Gwoza in Borno state in Nigeria, he met “extremely vulnerable people” displaced by conflict.
“Those people want to go home, they want a chance to rebuild their lives. But they want to do that when it’s safe to do so,” stressed Lowcock.
About 1.8 million people in Niger are food-insecure. Some 800,000 children are affected by acute malnutrition and almost 250,000 people are either internally displaced persons, returnees or refugees from Nigeria, he highlighted.