UN, partners call for 400 mln USD to address urgent food needs in NE Nigeria

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UNITED NATIONS, May 19 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations and humanitarian partners are appealing for nearly 400 million U.S. dollars to prevent widespread hunger and malnutrition in Nigeria's northeast region, a UN spokesperson said on Friday.

The funding will allow humanitarian organizations to swiftly expand food and nutrition assistance and provide clean water and sanitation, healthcare, protection and logistics in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states in the northeast of Nigeria, said Stephanie Tremblay, an associate spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

To kickstart the response, the United Nations has released a combined 18 million dollars, she told a regular press briefing.

"This injection of funding accounts for less than 5 percent of what humanitarian organizations require to address the most urgent food and nutrition needs," Tremblay said.

Without a rapid and significant scale up of humanitarian assistance, more than 1 million people may face emergency levels of food insecurity in the region, she said.

Tremblay added that 2 million children under the age of five this year are likely to face wasting, the most immediate and life-threatening form of malnutrition, and some 700,000 children in the region are at risk of severe acute malnutrition. Enditem

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