UNICEF Says About 50,000 IDP Kids Are Malnourished

UNICEF Says About 50, 000 IDP Kids Are MalnourishedThe United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) estimates that nearly 50,000 children are severely malnourished as a result of the food insecurity.

UNICEF Deputy Executive Director, Omar Abdi, stated this in Maiduguri after a tour of camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) both within and outside the Borno State capital.

Mr Abdi led a team of UNICEF officials from the offices in New York, Dakar and Abuja to undertake an on-the-spot needs assessment among the affected population.

“We have scaled up our programmes in working with other partners and supporting government efforts. So far the nutrition community has reached 12,000 children that are severely malnourished per month.

“We need to quadruple that number in order to reach all of the children that are severely malnourished. If they are not treated quickly, they are at risk of dying both from malnutrition and from other diseases such as diarrhoea and malaria and so on,” he said

The UNICEF team is also concerned about the education and access to clean water for thousands of children affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in northeast Nigeria.

According to the UNICEF Regional Director, Marie Pierre Poirier, access to clean water was another area of concern.

“The Thing that we have seen over the last days that is really strong is how the response in Nigeria to deal with this food insecurity tries to capitalise and attack the problem from different angle.

“So good distribution is very important but that’s not sufficient to get the kids out of that situation. In every IDP camp, we saw that there was a desire from our Nigerian counterparts with the help of UNICEF and partners to really bring in that aspect of water because if you don’t have safe water, you don’t have hygiene and you will create conditions where children cannot maintain the food in their body”, she explained.

UNICEF said even though resources are scarce and the time is short, there is a need to take advantage of any opportunity to tackle the problem.

The agency expressed readiness to increase its support and fill the gaps they have observed in their tours.

Military Assures Humanitarian Agencies Of Support On IDPs

Military Commits To Ridding Northeast Of InsurgentsThe Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor, has stated that the military outfit is tirelessly rendering support to myriads of Humanitarian Agencies, to alleviate the sufferings of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and other locals in a bid to win the peace and restore development in the region.

General Irabor made this disclosure during a meeting with the Deputy Executive Director, United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF), Omar Abdi, who led a four-man delegation to the Headquarters Theatre Command on Wednesday.

Describing UNICEF as a household name in Nigeria, the Theatre Commander further stated that the military outfit regularly interfaces with UNICEF and other Humanitarian Agencies through its Civil-Military Affairs Department, to facilitate their activities in the North East.

Irabor called on UNICEF to strengthen developmental infrastructures such as medical and educational facilities in the localities, to enable those IDPs who had returned to their communities have access to health and educational infrastructures.

Also speaking at the meeting, the Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF, commended the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole for a successful campaign against terrorism, cataloged the objectives of UNICEF in the North East to include concerns for life saving activities, humanitarian activities, nutritional health, education and protection of children.

He expressed the desire of the international body to expand its humanitarian activities to those areas where the body is yet to access.

However, he added that the support of Operation Lafiya Dole is very crucial to the expansion.