UN aid agencies and donor nations assembled in Oslo Thursday for a two-day meeting to raise crisis aid for a large number of people debilitated by starvation in northeastern Nigeria, a Boko Haram stronghold.
The UN aims to gather as much as 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in commitments all through 2017 for the Lake Chad region, which contains northeast Nigeria, northern Cameroon, western Chad and southeast Niger.
One of the poorest regions in the world, it has been ravaged by eight years of violence. Schools, dispensaries and agriculture are in ruins, and people have been forced to flee jihadists on foot without any resources.
Across northeast Nigeria, some 5.1 million people face severe food shortages and nearly 500,000 children are suffering from acute malnutrition, even as the military makes gains against the group.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende, meeting with non-governmental organisations on Thursday, called it “one of the more forgotten conflicts” on the planet.
“The displacement crisis in northeastern Nigeria and the Lake Chad region has really become unfortunately a very serious food and nutrition emergency,” Brende said.
“More than 10 million people are in need of assistance… Some parts of northeastern Nigeria may unfortunately already experience famine,” he added.