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International donors pledge $672 million to fight famine in Lake Chad region

International donors pledge $672 million to fight famine in Lake Chad region

Nigeria

International donors have pledged $672 million for the next three years to avert famine in the Lake Chad region.

During a two-day meeting held in Norway’s capital Oslo, aid agencies said they must get food to close to 3 million people by July, to avert famine in the region threatened by Boko Haram militants.

The most urgent need is to reach 2.8 million people with rice or sorghum or cash to buy supplies by July, the UN’s World Food programme (WFP) added.

Already, half a million children under the age of five are suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

The UN aims to raise up to $1.5 billion in commitments through out 2017 for the region.

Overall 10.7 million people - roughly 2 out of 3 inhabitants - need humanitarian help such as food,water, education or protection, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)said.

Lake Chad region which comprises north east Nigeria, nothern Cameroon, western Chad and southeast Niger, is one of the poorest regions in the world.

It has been ravaged by eight years of violence which has killed around 15,000 people while more than 2 million have been forced to flee their homes.

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