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Special Reports

Boko Haram-fuelled famine threatens 120,000 Nigerians as Lake Chad crisis deepens, UN warns

At least 120,000 people are facing starvation in northeastern Nigeria due to a "catastrophic" man-made famine caused by the insurgency of Boko Haram terrorists, the UN-agency Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned. The agency also predicted the crisis was likely to deteriorate between June and August.

Borno state, Boko Haram's birthplace and the epicentre of the group's seven-year insurgency, is expected to have around 78,000 people living in famine-like conditions, the report continued.

Due to security concerns, some markets are still closed while food and fuel prices remain high due to weak currency and civil insecurity.

Boko Haram started carrying out attacks in Borno in 2009. However, the conflict soon spilled over into neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

The area, known as Lake Chad basin region, is one of the world's poorest and is witnessing an acute humanitarian crisis exacerbated by the negative effects of climate change.

Around 500,000 children in the area are at risk of death if they do not receive urgent assistance, FAO warned.

At present, at least 2.6m people have been displaced by Boko Haram and nearly 7m are facing hunger and potential starvation,according to aid agencies. The UN further warned that nearly 5.1m people are expected to face serious food shortages.

The latest FAO report came weeks after Kashim Shettima, governor of Borno, accused aid agencies of profiting from funds supposed to help people displaced by Boko Haram.

The accusation followed President Muhammadu Buhari's claims that the UN and aid organisations had exaggerated the extent of the humanitarian crisis in the countries in the Lake Chad.

In 2016, the UN launched a $1 bn (£783m) funding appeal to help tackle what it defined as "the largest crisis on the African continent".

The funds would help nearly 7 million people in the three Nigerian states — Borno, Adamawa and Yobe — most affected by the violence.

Click here to read the International Business Times report.

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