Famine-like conditions in the northeast Nigeria could kill 75,000 children over the next year if they do not receive aid, the United Nations children's agency UNICEF said on Thursday.
The Boko Haram militant group had previously held control of Northeast Nigeria. The Nigerian army and its allies have pushed the group back to its stronghold in northeast’s vast Sambisa forests during the past few months.
However, the group’s trail of destruction has killed at least 20,000 people, displaced more than two million peopl, and severely weakening the country’s economy.
UNICEF spokesman Patrick Rose said the 75,000 children are from the three states, Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, where people face soaring food prices.
According to the UN, 400,000 children aged under five would suffer from severe acute malnutrition in these three states. More than four million people faces severe food shortages.
UNICEF also said it had increased the sum sought in its humanitarian appeal to help malnourished children in the region from 55 million dollars to 115 million dollars.
It said it had received just 28 million dollars so far, which it said presents a serious obstacle to the scale up plan.