(Vatican Radio) An aid agency is warning that the number of children suffering from life-threatening malnutrition across Africa’s Lake Chad Basin has soared since last year and could spiral further, as Boko Haram terrorists ramp up attacks in the region.
According to the Norwegian Refugee Council up to 800,000 children under the age of five are suffering from severe acute malnutrition in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad.
A consultative group for Lake Chad , which includes, Germany, Norway and the UN, is meeting in Berlin Wednesday discuss the crisis
Jackie Okao, Protection and Advocacy Advisor for NRC is in Berlin for the talks. She told Lydia O’Kane how violence on the ground has led to devastating food shortages.
“Because of the ongoing insurgence we have a number of civilians caught in crossfire… so as a result they are forced to flee their homes for safety and often times they end up in concentrated settlements without proper shelter so they are forced to settle in make shift shelters, for instance places without adequate water and sanitation facilities…”, she said
Asked about what the NRC’s hopes are for Wednesday’s consultative group meeting for Lake Chad, Ms Okao said the message from NGO’s is that, “even as we think about the stabilization and crisis prevention we should not forget the critical humanitarian needs that still exist. So what we’re trying to say is to ensure that humanitarian needs are put at the forefront of these discussions…”