Nearly half a million children are at risk of malnutrition in Lake Chad

Refugee living in the Lake Chad region Refugee living in the Lake Chad region MSF

25 August 2016
UNICEF warns of severe malnutrition putting children at risk in the Lake Chad area

UNICEF has warned that there are nearly half a million children at risk of severe malnutrition in the Lake Chad area caused by severe drought in Northeastern Nigeria. In Borno State alone, about 49,000 children are at risk due to the violent campaign by Boko Haram, if they do not receive treatment. The campaign by the extremist group has aggravated the severe conditions in the already turbulent area due to drought, flooding and epidemics.

In a report released ahead of the UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants, apart from the 2.6 million people that are already displaced in the region, UNICEF states that an additional 2.2 million, of which over half are children, are feared to be trapped in an area controlled by Boko Haram, and in need of humanitarian assistance. In Borno State, entire towns and villages lie in ruins, there is no access to safe water and nearly two-thirds of hospitals and clinics have been partially or completely destroyed. 

UNICEF’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Manuel Fontaine, said that the crisis is a children’s crisis that should be high on the international humanitarian agenda.  He further adds that humanitarian need is outpacing the required assistance due to the previous lack of access to the affected areas in North East Nigeria. The organization, which has received only 13% of the $308 million it needs to provide humanitarian assistance to families across Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon, is appealing to the international community to increase its support for the affected communities.


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