We are now talking about " the most serious humanitarian crisis since 1945 ". 20 million people in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and North East Nigeria are experiencing famine.
CConcerning Nigeria, the UN World Food Program has sounded the alert last June. Hundreds of thousands of Nigerians could starve in the famine-stricken northeast in dire need of emergency assistance. $ 172 million would be needed to successfully help them.
Now that Boko-Haram militants are starting to be pushed back by the Nigerian military, the scale of the humanitarian need is becoming visible. The northeastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe are the most affected, with over 5 million people facing “acute food insecurity”, and require emergency food aid. More than half are children.
2 million displaced people in the countryThis humanitarian disaster is the consequence of the mismanagement of the country's resources, unstable policies, and the Boko Haram insurgency in the region. Since 2009, Islamist activists have been fighting for establish an islamic caliphate. At the end of 2016, nearly 2 million Nigerians were internally displaced . About 200 people have fled to neighboring countries (Niger, Cameroon, Chad), and are starting to return.
Ethnic tensions between predominantly Muslim shepherds and predominantly Christian farmers in the middle belt of Nigeria, contributed to a lesser extent to the development of the disaster.
Inexhaustible distressIn the midst of this inexhaustible distress, churches are doing what they can to bring food to the most vulnerable - especially Christians who do not always have access to emergency aid government systems designed to respond primarily to the needs of Muslim majorities.
Osagie, team leader for Open Doors in this region of Africa says he saw the deterioration of living conditions, throughout the 8 years of conflict:
“We have witnessed an increase in hunger in informal camps and in host communities, as food became increasingly scarce and people could no longer farm. "
Particularly vulnerable ChristiansIn this context, Christians are particularly vulnerable. Even before the Boko Haram insurgency, Christians in the 12 sharia-ruled states of northern Nigeria were neglected, marginalized and even abused because of their faith. Many people testify to the discrimination of Christians in the camps. Many choose to leave these official camps for informal camps, where they feel more secure.
Pray for Nigeria
Image credit: Flickr / CC - Stars Foundation
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