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“14 million Nigerians are in need of serious help”



United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), has revealed that in north-eastern Nigeria, over 14 million are in serious need of help.

Peter Lundberg the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, while speaking to journalists on Tuesday, November 15, warned that many lives could be lost if the problem was not solved.

Disclosing the reason for the problem , he said it was down to the dwindling of funds from donor partners.

He said that overall 26 million people were likely affected by the crisis, with 14 million people already identified to be in urgent need of assistance to survive.

Lundberg also revealed that 400,000 children were suffering severe famine and malnutrition and that out of that number, 75,000 may die in a few months unless something urgent was done.

He also explained that the decline of funds may hamper humanitarian intervention in the region was to blame. And it was due to the various problems facing the world.

Explaining the statistics, he revealed that out of the $485 million budgeted for 2016; only $180 million had so far been received, thereby creating a huge gap in tackling the situation. Providing a likely solution, he called on Nigerians, particularly the rich ones, to contribute no matter how small, in order to prevent the disaster and also ameliorate the plight of the suffering in the region. Lundberg said: “We need to reach out to the private sector.

Most of these children are already experiencing changes in the colour of their hairs and skin and may likely die due to weak immune system. “Nigeria is a rich country and there are a lot of rich people that have the capacity to give and are also willing to do.”

He also disclosed that his agency, apart from intervening in the area of food and health, was also assisting in water and sanitation, shelter, education and empowerment amongst others.

Mr Lundberg concluded that as part of measures to effectively reach the people, the organization has concluded plans to establish a humanitarian hub that would bring staff of the agency and other partners closer to the people.

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