UN warns that 500,000 malnourished children around Lake Chad risk dying

The UN warned Friday that half a million severely malnourished children around Africa’s Lake Chad need life-saving assistance. The top UN aid chiefs for the countries straddling the lake – Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon – said in Geneva that funding was desperately needed. Nearly a decade after the insurgency by Boko Haram jihadists plunged first Nigeria and later its neighbors into chaos, the security and humanitarian crises in the region remain “severe,” said Bintou Djibo, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Niger. Around five million people are acutely food insecure, while around 490,000 children under the age of five in the region are suffering from acute, severe malnutrition, according to UN numbers. AFP reports that 2.4 million people have been displaced by conflict and food insecurity.