More than 120,000 Nigerians will likely suffer “catastrophic” famine-like conditions caused by Boko Haram’s Islamic uprising, among 11 million confronting severe food shortages this year, according to a new United Nations report. The report from the Food and Agriculture Organisation predicts that Africa’s biggest humanitarian crisis in northeast Nigeria will likely deteriorate during the “lean” food season between June and August.
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“Trends show that food security and nutrition are worsening,” it says. “8.7 million people are expected to be in crisis: 2 million in emergency and 121,000 in famine conditions, bringing the total number of severely food-insecure people to 11 million.”
Worst affected is Borno state, the birthplace of Boko Haram, which may hold 65 per cent of those “expected to face famine conditions.” UN agencies have reported that children are already dying in that region and some 515,000 face death if they don’t get help. Corruption and conflict between the government and aid agencies is compounding the crisis. Officials are investigating reports of local government agencies stealing food aid.