Nigeria’s troubled northwest fights child malnutrition

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Doctor Bukar M.Galtimar (R), examines a malnourished infant at the Inpatients Therapeutic Feeding Center Maiduguri in Nigeria. (AP)

ABUJA: In northwestern Nigeria, four years ago, gunmen attacked Halima Mu’s village. Nigeria, killing her husband as well as the oldest of their seven kids.
She said that the family fled to safety in a camp for displaced persons, but they are now hungry.
“It’s been over a year since the government gave us food items.” From Sokoto camp, she spoke.
It’s now 2 p.m., and she’s preparing her family’s first and only meal of the day. She isn’t sure where she will get food the next day. She said, “I and my kids are often begging.”
NorthwestNigeria’s violent rise has resulted in the deaths of many and forced hundreds of thousands to flee their country. Musa is one of many who are living in camps with inadequate food.
Violence has only exacerbated the existing poverty in this West African country, which currently has a 40% poverty rate according to the latest government statistics. This includes some of those who are the poorest in the troubled North.
Many families are forced to leave their farms and choose their livelihoods.
Michel-Olivier claims that the attacks “pushed many communities and about 500,000 people from their homes to their limits”, according to Michel. LachariteDoctors Without Borders, a France-based medical charity.
According to Lacharite (head of the emergency operations), the group is ready to feed up to 100,000 children who are malnourished in Nigeria’s Katsina.
Although he alerted the government to the problem he stated that “we haven’t seen the mobilization required to avert an devastating nutrition crisis.”
According to authorities, the violence in Nigeria’s northwest is being blamed on armed groups made up mostly of semi-nomadic Fulani herdsmen. They are fighting settled farming communities for limited access to water and land. Some rebellious herdsmen now work with Islamist extremists rebels in the country’s northeast to target remote communities.
Authorities say that although the Nigerian jihadi rebellion in the northeast has diminished, violence in northwest Nigeria has worsened.
Murdakai Titus, Nigeria’s National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, stated that “the government gives them [displaced people] more attention in the northwestern than the northeast”
He stated that the priority given to the Northwest is high for intervention activities by the Commission – including relief materials, livelihood activities and training them to become self-reliant.
U.N. World Food Program Nigeria’s office works to prevent children from becoming malnourished by providing nutritional support for children aged 6 months to 23 years. Chi also stated that aid is provided to vulnerable mothers who are pregnant or breastfeeding. LaelA spokeswoman of the U.N. World Food Program (Nigeria)
Lael stated that malnutrition is still a concern, but that children under five are twice as likely to be malnourished in certain areas than those who are older.
Manzo EzekielA spokesperson for Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency said that the agency recognizes the importance of nutrition to internally displaced people.
Hannatu Ahmadu, her four children and their mother were forced to flee after gunmen attacked Takwo village in Munya region of Niger state. They were able to escape, but they still don’t have enough food.
“As you speak with me, we haven’t been able to harvest the crops and we are currently starving,” she stated to AP, speaking from Munya displacement camps in Niger state. These camps border Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Ahmadu claimed that irregular food aid deliveries make it difficult to feed her kids. She stated that she only eats once a day.

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