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WFP says people in Boko Haram heartland at risk of starvation

28 January 2017 15:46

 

The United Nations World Food Programme has sounded the alarm for millions of people who are at risk of dying from starvation in the militant-infested northeastern region of Nigeria.

The Boko Haram Takfiri terrorists are obstructing efforts to deliver food to the crisis-hit region, the WFP warned on Friday.

Ertharin Cousin, the WFP executive director, said there were areas unreachable to the UN agency.

The photo taken on September 15, 2016, shows a mother holding her young malnourished baby girl suffering from acute malnutrition at a public health facility in Dalaram district of Maiduguri, northeastern Nigeria. (Photo by AFP)

“The challenge is that there are areas in Borno state, in particular, that are still inaccessible, and we have no idea of the food security situation,” she said, adding that an estimated 4.4 million people needed food assistance in the northeast.

Even in parts of the northeast held and defended by the army, Boko Haram attacks were jeopardizing aid programs, Cousin said.

Ending the insurgency will require a political as well as a military solution, said Cousin, adding, “Until we resolve those issues the humanitarian situation will not improve to a level that allows us to reach all of those in need.”

The government has told aid agencies it expects the conflict to end in six months, she said.

“I am imploring the international community to continue to provide us with the support that is necessary,” said Cousin.

The WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience.

The photo released by the World Food Program (WFP) shows WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin (R) being briefed on conditions at Pompomari camp in Damaturu, Nigeria, January 26, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Boko Haram terrorists have killed more than 20,000 people and forced more than 2.7 million others to flee since 2009.

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