Malnutrition in Niger Reaches Emergency Threshold, UN

Malnutrition has reached a critical point in landlocked Niger, the United Nations said on Thursday.

According to the UN, malnutrition among children in the west-African country has reached the maximum threshold.

The prevalence rate of acute malnutrition continues to fluctuate around 15%, corresponding to the emergency threshold set by the World Health Organization, the UN said.

The UN’s Office of Humanitarian Affairs in Niamey revealed that between January and April, more than 176,000 children out of which 65,000 suffering severe malnutrition were hospitalized.

Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world, is struggling to feed its own uprooted people as well as refugees from Nigeria.

Niger’s president, Mahamadou Issoufou last week said, his nation is facing a “catastrophic humanitarian situation” trying to crush Boko Haram from across the border with Nigeria and tackle food scarcity at home.

The UN World Food Program says almost half a million people need food aid in Diffa region, including those at the refugee camps.

Niger’s landscape makes crop production difficult, and its overreliance on the commodities sector resulted in a revenue shortage in the wake of lower prices on the world stage.