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.