Nigeria’s Abuja In a northwestern Nigerian village four years ago, Halima Musa’s husband and the oldest of their seven children were murdered by gunmen.
She claimed that although the family fled to the security of a refugee camp, they are now hungry.
She said from the camp in Sokoto, “It’s been more than a year since the government brought us food items.”
She is preparing the family’s first and only meal of the day at two o’clock. The next day, she is unsure of where she will find food. She claimed, “Me and my kids are usually begging.”
Northwest Thousands of people have died and hundreds of thousands more have been displaced due to the escalating violence in Nigeria. Like Musa, many people are finding refuge in camps that frequently serve subpar food.
According to the most recent government statistics, this region of West Africa has a chronic poverty rate of 40%, with some of the poorest residents living in the troubled north. The violence has exacerbated this situation.
Many families have been forced to give up their farms because they must put their lives before their means of support.
According to Michel-Olivier Lacharite of the France-based medical charity Doctors Without Borders, the attacks have “pushed many communities to their limits, including approximately 500,000 people forced to flee from home.”
According to Lacharite, the director of the organization’s emergency operations, the group is getting ready to feed up to 100,000 malnourished children this year in Nigeria’s Katsina state alone.
He said, “We have not seen the mobilization needed to avert a devastating nutrition crisis,” in spite of warning the government about the issue.
Authorities attribute the violence in northwest Nigeria to armed groups made up primarily of young, semi-nomadic Fulani herders who are at odds with established farming communities over the latter’s insufficient access to water and land. Some of the herdsmen are now collaborating with radical Islamist rebels in the northeast of the nation to attack isolated communities.
According to authorities, while the jihadi insurgency in Nigeria’s northeast has somewhat subsided, the violence in the northwest has gotten worse.
According to Murdakai Titus of Nigeria’s National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons, “the government gives them (displaced people) more attention in the northwest even now than the northeast.”
According to him, “Northwest is given high priority” for intervention activities from the commission, including training in self-reliance and providing relief materials and livelihood opportunities.
The Nigerian office of the World Food Program works to prevent acute malnutrition in children by offering nutritional support to youngsters between the ages of 6 and 23 months. Pregnant and nursing women in vulnerable households are also given assistance, according to Chi Lael, a spokeswoman for the U.N. World Food Program in Nigeria.
However, Lael noted that malnutrition is still a problem, adding that in some places, “children under five were twice as likely to be malnourished compared to those from the general population.”
The National Emergency Management Agency of Nigeria, according to a spokesperson named Manzo Ezekiel, is aware that the nutrition of the internally displaced population needs to be improved.
After gunmen attacked her Takwo village in the Munya region of Niger state, Hannatu Ahmadu and her four children were forced to flee for a month. They found safety, but there isn’t enough food for them.
From the Munya displacement camp in Niger state, which is close to Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, she told AP, “We have not been able to harvest our crops and we are currently here starving.”
Ahmadu claimed that inconsistent food aid deliveries make it challenging for her to feed her kids. We don’t eat very often, she said.