Food aid will be cut for more than a million Nigerians affected by Boko Haram’s insurgency if promised funding from the international community does not arrive, according to a United Nations official.
Peter Lundberg, the deputy UN humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, wrote in the French newspaper Le Monde that just 15% of the UN aid appeal for one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises has been received.
Over the next six months, 242 million dollars (£193 million) is needed to help 1.8 million people, he said.
“Without sufficient financing, the World Food Program (WFP) will have to reduce its vital support,” he wrote. Half a million children in north-east Nigeria are suffering from severe malnutrition, Mr Lundberg warned.
“Without treatment, one in five will die.”
WFP’s Nigeria office did not respond to a request for more details on what aid would be cut and when.
Nigeria is part of what the UN has called the largest humanitarian crisis since the world body was founded in 1945, with more than 20 million people in four countries facing possible famine.
The other nations are South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen. Mr Lundberg said the UN has appealed for one billion dollars (£780 million) in aid this year for Nigeria, where an estimated 4.7 million people in the north-east are in urgent need of food aid.
Nigeria’s military has been fighting to win back areas that have been under the control of the Boko Haram extremist group. The Islamic insurgency in the vast north-east has disrupted both markets and farming, creating the hunger crisis.