Nigeria subsidy removal inflicting harm, says UN

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The United Nations claims that the fight against extreme hunger in Nigeria, particularly in Northern Nigeria, has escalated due to rising energy prices brought on by the elimination of fuel subsidies.

Matthias Schmale, the senior UN humanitarian representative in Nigeria, revealed this on Thursday in Geneva. He said that 700, 000 children under five who are in danger of life-threatening malnutrition, which has doubled in size in the past year, are among the 4,3 million people in Nigeria’s Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states who are at risk of acute hunger.

“I have been to Borno and the other two states several times. I’ve seen mothers fighting for the lives of their malnourished children in nutrition stabilization centers,” he said.“Those of us who are parents must imagine what it’s like when you cannot ensure your children have enough to eat,” he added. He cautioned that the “catastrophic” scenario is mostly a consequence of more than ten years of insecurity associated with non-State militias, which hinders people from farming and making a living from the land.

He additionally highlighted other side effects such as extreme weather impacts, such as flooding in Nigeria that affected more than 4,4 million people nationwide.

The research urged that just 25 percent of the US$1,3 billion in humanitarian aid required for the region has been received so far, noting that the issue has been made worse by the crisis’s escalating cost of food, gasoline, and fertilizers.

In an effort to tackle the nation’s escalating hunger, the World Food Programme (WFP) has unveiled a US$2,5 billion Country Strategic Plan (CSP) for Nigeria. The plan’s main goal is to combat hunger and malnutrition in a few areas, especially in the Northeast and Northwest. The five-year framework (2023-2027) aims to enhance nutrition and attain food security in Nigeria by 2030, which is in line with Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG 2).

Additionally, it highlights the significance of gender equality, education, health and wellbeing, and climate action.