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1.1m Nigerians will be at risk in North-East by 2030 —UNDP



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The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says the insurgency in the North-East will put the lives of 1.1 million Nigerians at risk by 2030 if the current investment deficit in development is not addressed.

A virtual report launched on Thursday titled ‘Assessing the Impact of Conflict on Development in North-East Nigeria,’ revealed that the conflict which began in 2009, has directly resulted in the deaths of approximately 35,000 people as a direct consequence of the insurgency.

“However, indirect deaths including disease and hunger resulting from the conflict’s physical and economic destruction, already far outnumber those from direct causes,” the report noted.

The report added that critical aspects of progress and development, including GDP, poverty, malnutrition, infant mortality, education, water availability and sanitation may not return to pre-conflict levels even by 2030.

Read also: Despite security challenges, INEC unveils four-year plan for North-East

“Findings from the report show that for each casualty caused directly by insurgency, an additional nine people, primarily children, have lost their lives due to lack of food and resources.

“As a result, more than 90% of conflict-attributable deaths are of children under the age of five.

“Attacks from insurgency have also led to massive internal displacement. More than 1.8m Nigerians are displaced in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe States, with the vast majority which is nearly 1.5m, located in Borno.

“In addition, 1.8m students were out of school in 2020, and without increased investment in development efforts, the average Nigerian in the North-East will have lost a full year of education by 2030,” the report said.

Reacting to the report, the UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria, Mohamed Yahya, said that while the Nigerian government had made great strides in retaking and stabilizing large areas of the region, continued and sustainable investment in development from both national and international stakeholders was needed.

By Isaac Dachen…

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