Hunger Now Threatens Nigerian Christians Who’ve Fled Boko Haram

ICC Note: Close to a quarter of a million children in Nigeria are now suffering from severe malnutrition and starvation, according to World Watch Monitor. The most vulnerable to starvation are children, primarily of Christian families, living in areas that have been affected by the Islamist terror group Boko Haram. Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) represent Nigeria’s most food insecure population, lacking access to their farms and adequate food sources. Nigeria’s churches are currently the primary supporters of the IDP camps but their resources are running low. Tens of thousands of these children will soon die if they do not receive aid.

07/28/2016, Borno, Nigeria (WorldWatch Monitor) - ''I met a child today who came to our clinic, looking very thin and definitely showing signs of hunger. His parents don’t live in our camp, but they brought him here for health checks…”

Father Maurice Kweirang, in charge of St. Theresa Catholic Church’s IDP camp in Yola, in Nigeria’s north-east Adamawa State, talking to World Watch Monitor.

‘‘…There are many of them in such a situation. They live in host communities but are facing malnutrition, mostly unnoticed. Nobody takes care of them even though they are here in large numbers. They refuse to go back to their homes and villages, because those who went back are starving now’’.

Almost a quarter of a million children in parts of Nigeria's Borno state, formerly controlled by Boko Haram, suffer from severe malnutrition, UNICEF says; tens of thousands will die if treatment does not reach them soon, it warns.

The seven-year rebellion by the Islamist group has left 20,000 people dead and more than two million displaced. The crisis is particularly acute in Borno State, but other neighbouring states like Adamawa and Yobe are also affected by the crisis.

Recent Nigerian Army military operations, which led to the recovery of territories previously under Boko Haram’s control, have revealed the scale of the humanitarian needs of civilians living in the three states. In many areas where Boko Haram militants had been in control, UNICEF found people without water, food or sanitation.

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