Menu ENN Search

Famine fears in northeast Nigeria as Boko Haram fight rages

Research snapshot1

A recent report in The Lancet describes the situation in northeast Nigeria where, amid continued fighting, over five million people are now going hungry. The prevalence of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in July 2016 in internally displaced people (IDP) in one area was 20%, which is five times the emergency threshold. Rapid field screenings of children found levels as high as 40%. UNICEF has warned that 75,000 children could face starvation this year without aid. Although food distributions have scaled up substantially, 400,000 to 800,000 people remain cut off from help. Even in accessible areas, millions are expected to face severe food shortages this year, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET), due to disruptions from the conflict, which have stopped farmers planting crops, displaced large populations, cut off transport, disrupted markets and driven the cost of staple food out of many people’s reach. Analysts expect high rates of malnutrition and mortality among these populations as well as a high probability of outbreaks of diseases such as measles, meningitis, diphtheria and pertussis.

The Nigerian Government has denied the severity of the hunger crisis. It has also been difficult to get donor countries to fund relief efforts. Last year, the United Nations (UN) received only about half of its US$480 million appeal for the region. “It took some time to convince the donors that the Nigerian Government could not handle it on their own”, said Toby Lanzer, the UN’s Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel. The food crisis has in fact been going on for several years, but little aid was provided until recently because areas have been largely cut off due to military operations. This meant that humanitarian agencies did not fully understand the scale of the problem and even when they began to, they still could not access most of the affected areas. “There has been a real lack of political will to acknowledge the scale of the problem,” said Natalie Roberts, who managed the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) emergency operations in the region. “It is very easy now for everybody to scale up their aid and pretend that nothing happened before.”


Footnotes

1Loewenberg S. (2017) World report: Famine fears in northeast Nigeria as Boko Haram fight rages. The Lancet, Vol. 389, January 28, 2017.


 

More like this

Blog post: Evidence, Analysis, and the Politics of Declaring Famine

Dan is the Henry J. Leir Professor in Food Security and Research Director at the Feinstein International Center and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts...

FEX: Post-Rome integrated action: Experiences from North-eastern Nigeria

By Kirathi Reuel Mungai and Adeola Goriola Makanjuola View this article as a pdf Lisez cet article en français ici Kirathi Reuel Mungai is a nutrition specialist...

FEX: Promoting an integrated famine prevention package: Breaking bottlenecks

Summary of the report of the global Food Security and Nutrition Cluster meeting, 26 April 2017 at World Food Programme HQ, Rome The global Food Security Cluster (FSC) and...

FEX: Letter

Dear Editors This issue of Field Exchange summarises an article that I authored (The 2001-03 Famine and the Dynamics of HIV in Malawi: a Natural Experiment) which suggests...

FEX: Gender impact analysis of unconditional cash transfers in south central Somalia

Summary of published research1 A woman tiedyes clothing Location: Somalia What we know already: Cash transfer programming can positively impact on nutrition and food...

FEX: Multiple crises overwhelm emergency food relief agencies

Summary of published article1 Location: Global What we know: The world is facing its largest refugee crisis since World War 2. Inadequate funding is significantly...

FEX: Valid International

In late June this year, ENN interviewed Kate Sadler, Director of Programmes at Valid International (VI), and followed up by speaking to Steve Collins, one of the founders of VI...

FEX: Simplified approaches to treat acute malnutrition: Insights and reflections from MSF and lessons from experiences in NE Nigeria

View this article as a pdf By Kerstin Hanson Kerstin Hanson has a background in paediatrics and public health. She most recently worked as a nutrition adviser for...

FEX: Experiences of implementing CMAM in Yemen and number of deaths averted

By Najwa Al-Dheeb, Anna Ziolkovska and Stanley Chitekwe View this article as a pdf Lisez cet article en français ici Najwa Al-Dheeb is the Health and Nutrition...

FEX: Women’s protection and empowerment programming for Syrian refugees in urban Jordan: challenges and lesson learned

By Melanie Megevand, IRC Melanie Megevand is IRC's Women's Protection and Empowerment Programme Advisor, and has worked in Jordan since May 2012. She established the IRC's...

FEX: The Eleanor Crook Foundation

Name: The Eleanor Crook Foundation Address: Suite 1110, 150 Fayetteville Street Raleigh, NC 27601 Tel:...

FEX: One hundred years of famine – a pause for reflection

Dublin '99 This piece was written by Fiona Watson, Institute of Child Health - NutritionWorks with contributions from the editors As the millennium draws to a close, memories...

FEX: International Legal Consequences of the Conflict in Syria

By Natasha Harrington Natasha is a barrister (a member of the English Bar). She is currently working in Eversheds law firms' public international law and international...

FEX: Utilising the livelihoods approach in food security assessments

A review1 The latest Humanitarian Practice Network (HPN) paper produced by ODI describes the theory and practice of Oxfam GB's livelihoods approach to assessing food security...

FEX: Grand Bargain: Reform or business as usual?

Views Summary of comments* and review** Location: Global What we know: Inadequate resources are a severe and increasing constraint on humanitarian action in the face of...

FEX: Learning from the Porridge Mums project in northeast Nigeria

By Ellyn Yakowenko and Silke Pietzsch View this article as a pdf Lisez cet article en français ici Ellyn Yakowenko is the Associate Director of Research at Action...

FEX: Impact evaluation of a cash-transfer programme for Syrian refugees in Lebanon

By Christian Lehmann and Daniel T. R. Masterson Daniel Masterson is a PhD student in Political Science at Yale University. Daniel worked for UNHCR in Syria in 2007 and 2008....

FEX: The USAID experience of advocating to employ the expanded admission criteria in Nigeria

View this article as a pdf This is a poscript for the field article 'Simplified approaches to treat acute malnutrition: Insights and reflections from MSF and lessons from...

FEX: Effect of Asian population-specific BMI cut-off values on malnutrition double burden estimates

Summary of research1 Location: India What we know: India is a rapid developing economy with huge socio-economic and demographic heterogeneity and co-existence of under- and...

FEX: How many lives do our CMAM programmes save? A sampling-based approach to estimating the number of deaths averted by the Nigerian CMAM programme

By Assaye Bulti (UNICEF), Stanley Chitekwe (UNICEF), Chloe Puett (ACF), and Mark Myatt (Brixton Health) Assaye Bulti is responsible for managing routine nutrition programme...

Close

Reference this page

Famine fears in northeast Nigeria as Boko Haram fight rages. Field Exchange 55, July 2017. p20. www.ennonline.net/fex/55/faminefearsinnortheastnigeria

(ENN_5683)

Close

Download to a citation manager

The below files can be imported into your preferred reference management tool, most tools will allow you to manually import the RIS file. Endnote may required a specific filter file to be used.