Sign this petition to your member of Congress to urge them to support funds to fight famine in Nigeria.
Sign this petition to your member of Congress to urge them to support funds to fight famine in Nigeria.

Famine in Nigeria: Act now

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Burying children has become an all too familiar practice in northeast Nigeria. They survived the violence of Boko Haram, and now families face a new, deadly threat: famine. A UN report estimates that 184 children could die everyday because of severe acute malnutrition.

Nigeria is facing the first man-made famine in over a decade. Reports from the field show extreme devastation and damage done to countless Nigerian families. Hundreds of thousands of Nigerian civilians are at risk of starvation because of violence, poor infrastructure, and no access to food and clean water.

Famine disproportionately affects the most vulnerable and innocent portion of the population: children. Malnutrition affects between 40 and 60% of children under five in the northern-most region of the country. Members of the humanitarian community in Nigeria are reporting that the population of children under five is quickly disappearing due to hunger and malnutrition. Fewer and fewer mothers are seen carrying their children on their backs. Mothers are so poorly nourished that they are incapable of providing breast milk for their children. Hospitals lack blood, oxygen, ultrasounds, electricity, and the basic resources to treat their most critical patients.

At the same time that thousands of Nigerian children die from preventable causes, members of Congress are deciding what foreign assistance programs to fund and what programs to cut. This crisis has far surpassed the international standard for an emergency and without concerted efforts it will get worse. Less than one third of the estimated funding needed to respond to this crisis has been provided.

You can help close this gap in funding and political will. Sign this petition to your member of Congress to urge them to support funds to fight famine in Nigeria. Lives hang in the balance as the parents of Nigeria struggle to build a healthy future for their children.

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    My Message

    Dear Member of Congress,

    As a constituent, I am writing with deep concern about the escalating hunger crisis in Nigeria. As Nigerians battle famine, the humanitarian needs of children are the most severe and underserved. Globally, Nigeria is one of the most urgent and overlooked nations for food aid. An absence of stable access to food means that child mortality has risen as high as 5% in some communities and children across the nation are in danger. Conditions are rapidly deteriorating. Without urgent humanitarian response, northeast Nigeria faces the dark reality that it may lose a generation of children to hunger.

    I urge you to work with the Appropriations Committee to support at least the Senate level of $1.6 billion for Food for Peace and the House level of $2.8 billion for the International Disaster Assistance Account. Please also consider including additional emergency funding in the FY 2017 omnibus to ensure the U.S. government can appropriately respond to the crisis. Additionally, please include bill language in the Agriculture Appropriations bill supporting the Community Development Fund (CDF), another important tool the U.S. government has to fight hunger. Ensuring CDF can be utilized within Food for Peace programs to offset the need to monetize will ensure the most effective use of taxpayer funds to fight hunger. Language allowing CDF to be used in non-emergency programs will free up $80 million for emergency responses like that in Nigeria.

    Famine and crisis in Nigeria, if not addressed, will lead to dangerous and fatal ends for families in these communities. Additional long-term investments to improve access to food, water, and other basic needs will also help mitigate the long-term impacts of famine.

    Meeting immediate needs for the population of Nigeria, especially the children, is crucial to demonstrating strong U.S. humanitarian leadership.

    Please work with the Appropriations Committee to ensure there is sufficient funding in the FY 2017 appropriations bills to help the children of Nigeria and other vulnerable families around the world.

    Sincerely,

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