UN humanitarians issued an alert on Tuesday over the deteriorating situation for millions of mainly women and children in northeast Nigeria who continue to be affected by protracted armed conflict, just as the country enters the lean season.
Well over eight million people are in need of assistance in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states, and an estimated 600,000 face emergency levels of food insecurity because of extremist violence centred around the Lake Chad region, that’s now in its 12th year.
Boko Haram still a threat
Although previously dominant Boko Haram militia have been significantly weakened since the group’s leader was killed over a year ago, it continues to carry out indiscriminate attacks, said the UN’s top relief officialOpens in new window in Nigeria, Matthias Schmale. Another extremist offshoot, ISWAP, is also dangerous, although it had also suffered setbacks, he noted.
As in previous years, a staggering one million people are also beyond the reach of international aid teams, said Mr. Schmale, who is the acting UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria.
More than 80 per cent of those in need are women and children, who also face “abductions, rape and abuse”, while indiscriminate attacks in Borno state make it the most “unstable place to be”, he added.