By Akanimo Sampson
Mercy Corps, a global humanitarian group, concerned with helping people facing the toughest challenges survive and move toward a stronger, more resilient future, says the Boko Haram conflict in Northern Nigeria has been ravaging the population of the troubled axis with 450,000 children facing severe acute malnutrition.
Chief Executive Officer of the group, Neal Keny-Guyer, in a statement said no corner of the world has been untouched by crisis this past year: ‘’War in Yemen has left families on the brink of starvation. Conflict and natural disaster have ravaged entire populations. From Syria and Afghanistan to Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the challenges have never been greater.’’
According to the CEO, ‘’we have been working in Nigeria since 2012. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, and its influence spreads across the continent. Yet, inequality and insecurity have consistently undermined Nigeria’s development — and therefore the region’s stability.
‘’Roughly 70 percent of the country lives in poverty, and in many areas as many as 80 percent of women are illiterate. The growing threat from Boko Haram only exacerbates significant ethnic and religious violence that stems from income inequality and conflict over diminishing natural resources.
‘’Many areas in North-East Nigeria are at risk of famine and at least 55,000 people are already experiencing famine-like conditions in Borno State, Nigeria alone. 5.2 million people are in urgent need of food assistance, and some 450,000 children face severe acute malnutrition in the conflict-affected states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
‘’Conflict provoked by Boko Haram has displaced approximately 1.6 million people, and farmers who have been displaced are unable to return to their homes to plant crops. Low crop yields and high staple food prices, combined with political unrest and chronic underdevelopment, means that millions of people will continue to have urgent food needs.
‘’It’s critical that we help communities address tensions and prevent marginalized populations from being exploited and participating in destructive behaviors. At the same time, we respond to immediate humanitarian needs of households affected by conflict through emergency assistance. We particularly focus on supporting young women, so they can participate in and contribute equally to their country in positive ways.’’
While thanking donors for to their support, he said in 2018, ‘’we helped transform nearly 28 million lives with lifesaving aid, economic opportunities, peace-building initiatives and better governance. Our work in Yemen alone reached more than 3.7 million people. Our teams in the Democratic Republic of Congo reached more than one million.’’
‘’Everywhere we work, we seek to save lives, help communities recover from crisis, and leverage the power of innovative partnerships and technology. We couldn’t do it without you. Thank you for choosing to show up, speak up and stand up for those determined to build a better future. Thank you for making a better world possible’’, Keny-Guyer said.
In Yemen, Mercy Corps said ongoing conflict, political volatility and economic instability have displaced three million people over the past four years, leaving: 17.8 million people without reliable access to food; 16 million people without safe water; and 16.4 million without adequate health care
The country is on the brink of famine, in the midst of the worst cholera outbreak in recorded history, with an economy on the edge of collapse. Mercy Corps is there, partnering with peer organisations and local community members to help people survive the crisis.
The group’s global community of humanitarians stretches across beliefs and borders. It includes donors like individuals, team members, corporate partners, peer organisations, governments and, most importantly, the people in the communities they serve.
To spark real and lasting change, ‘’we offer training and resources to help people become their own agents of change. We invest in the power of individuals to improve their own lives and contribute to a brighter future for their communities’’, the group said.
As technology transforms every aspect of modern life, millions of people are still struggling to meet basic needs and build secure lives for their families. With public support, the group says they are collaborating with public and private organisations to pioneer new solutions in struggling communities.
‘’Together, we’re helping people adapt to climate change, overcome economic hardship, survive through conflict and change their lives for the better’’, Mercy Corps said.