Niger facing child malnutrition crisis

2015-06-22 23:45
At least 31 people have been killed and nearly 100 000 more left homeless by severe flooding that has affected Niger since mid-July. (Boureima Hama, AFP)

At least 31 people have been killed and nearly 100 000 more left homeless by severe flooding that has affected Niger since mid-July. (Boureima Hama, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Niamey -Southeast Niger is struggling with a dramatic increase in child malnutrition as tens of thousands of people flee the Boko Haram conflict, the charity Save the Children said on Monday.

Niger's Diffa province, where the army has been battling Boko Haram jihadists since February, has seen an influx of people fleeing the conflict, with around 150 000 displaced people swelling the previous population of 600 000 inhabitants, Save the Children said.

"Admissions to nutrition centres have doubled, or tripled, since the first large waves of displaced people began arriving in Diffa two years ago," the charity said in a statement, calling for urgent assistance from the international community.

Many of those who have fled to Diffa are from over the border in Nigeria, but the region is also struggling with a large number of internally displaced residents, the NGO said.

Between January and April more than 4,800 children were treated for malnutrition - double the number during the same period last year, Akebou Sawadogo, director of Save the Children in Niger, told AFP. Around 10 400 children are expected to be treated in 2015.

The area is already extremely inhospitable, with food and water hard to come by and half of residents living on less than $1.25 a day, Save the Children said, warning that the Boko Haram insurgency has made the situation even more precarious.

"Access to food and clean water remains a daily challenge, while severe malnutrition rates are among the highest in the world," the charity said.

The armies of Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon have been fighting a joint campaign against Boko Haram for several months as the group's bloody six-year insurgency increasingly spills across Nigeria's borders.

Read more on:    niger  |  west africa  |  hunger

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.