UN should declare Northeastern Nigeria top emergency says Doctors Without Borders

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Nigeria’s Buhari been battling Boko Haram

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says 500,000 displaced people in Nigeria’s Borno State, remain in urgent need of medical care, food, drinking water and shelter.
Assessments done by MSF medical teams, UN agencies and the Nigerian authorities have shown an extremely serious situation in many towns and villages around Borno State. MSF has called on international organisations to mobilise immediately to provide urgent emergency food and medical aid to the people to avert this catastrophic health situation.
For nearly a year or more now, these areas have been cut off from the outside world while under the control of Boko Haram. MSF says Borno State residents have had no access to food and have had very little or no medical care at all – resulting in some areas registering children with a severe form of malnutrition measles and high mortality rates.
Boko Haram, which seeks to impose strict Islamic law in northern Nigeria, has been blamed for about 20 000 deaths and displacing more than 2.6 million people since 2009.
Children suffering
For children under five, in particular, the situation is especially concerning. Fifteen percent of children screened by our teams are suffering from severe acute malnutrition, putting their lives at risk.
Hugues Robert, MSF emergency manager, who just returned from Banki and MSF’s general director in Geneva, Bruno Jochum, briefed the media on the serious situation.
“We’re gradually discovering the extent of this crisis and we are particularly concerned for the inhabitants of the remote areas that we have not been able to access,” Robert says. “If we don’t manage quickly to provide them with food, water and urgent medical supplies malnutrition and disease will continue to wreak havoc.”
The crisis is as a result of the ongoing conflict as the Nigerian government forces seek to regain control over vast areas which were under the control of Boko Haram, also known as Islamic State West Africa Province. Access has been very difficult due to insecurity, people are scattered everywhere, the rainy season.
MSF Southern Africa has launched a NIGERIA EMERGENCY appeal to raise funds in support of expanding our medical emergency relief work in Borno State.

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