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Nigeria needs a courageous leader to tackle insecurity, hunger in North-East – UN



The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Matthias Schmale, said on Friday Nigeria was in dire need of a courageous leader to tackle insecurity, hunger and malnutrition in the North-East.

Schmale, who spoke at the launch of the Lean Season Food Security and Nutrition Crisis Multi-sector Plan 2023 in Abuja, urged the Federal Government to put in place good policies that would support agriculture, health, education, and socio-economic development for Nigerians to thrive.

He said: “There is a need for action in terms of good healthcare, providing good and nutritious food for the people, and also improving security in communities.”

The UN official urged the government to support agriculture to help people fight hunger that had deepened the food crisis and malnutrition as a result of protracted conflict and insecurity in the North-East.

“Combination of fuel and food inflation, naira cash crisis earlier in the year, and climate shocks, are among factors that have worsened the crisis.

READ ALSO: UN agency estimates 4.3m Nigerians facing severe hunger in North-East

“I have seen firsthand the anguish of mothers fighting for the lives of their malnourished infants in our partner-run stabilisation centres, a situation no one should have to face.

“I have spoken with children who described going for days without eating enough, and mothers who saw their children go to bed crying from hunger.

“There were also families struggling to feed their children as they have gone for months without receiving food assistance,” Schmale added.

He called for additional funding to enable humanitarian partners to reach vulnerable people in the region.

“The 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) was seeking $1.3 billion to support six million people.

“Also $396.1million is urgently needed to deliver life-saving food security and nutrition assistance to 2.8 million of the affected people in the next six months,” the UN official stated.

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