U.N. accused of inaction in crisis-hit Nigeria

Jul 14, 2016, 7:01 AM EDT
(Source: DFID - UK Department for International Development/flickr)
(Source: DFID - UK Department for International Development/flickr)

Doctors Without Borders (M.S.F.) have accused the United Nations of failing to act swiftly in northeastern Nigeria, where hundreds of people are dying every day owing to a severe food crisis that threatens to get even more devastating. M.S.F. also slammed the Nigerian authorities for “deliberate negligence” and undermining the scale of the crisis.

More than four million people in the Lake Chad region fall in the category of “severely food insecure,” which means they need urgent food aid, notes The Guardian. Toby Lanzer, U.N. assistant secretary general admitted that he has never seen a food crisis of such scale in the past 20 years of his work.

Agricultural activity has come to a standstill in Borno’s farmland, which have been “devastated and abandoned” by seven years of Boko Haram’s insurgency. Lanzer said the U.N. agencies lack the resources needed for handling the crisis, adding that only $75m has been secured from international donors when the requirement is about $279m.

The U.N. sent $13 million in emergency aid after Nigeria declared a food-and-nutrition emergency in the state of Borno last month, notes Voice of America. Earlier this week, a report by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (O.C.H.A.) said the ongoing fighting in and around Borno made it difficult to provide aid to refugee camps in hard-to-reach areas.