More than 350,000 children have been treated of malnutrition since interventions and aid activities began in the North-eastern region of the country, to control the humanitarian crises which the region was plunged into, following the renewed activities of insurgents.
Speaking during the inaugural coordinating forum of the Presidential Committee on the North-east Initiative (PCNI) in Abuja yesterday, the Head of Nutrition, United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF), Olayinka Chuku, also disclosed that the organization has engineered the provision of cash to over 12,000 households, to help them acquire basic needs and get on with their lives.
However, Chuku pointed out that more would have to be done, as the figure was a far-cry from that set out to be reached by the body and called on donors to do more, in order to prevent unnecessary deaths of children and infants in the region.
“This figure is nothing compared to our goal. If we have all we need or, even, a little more, we could reach more children and save them from the brink of death.
“We want donors to be more proactive.
“Yes, the Federal Government did provide some supportive funding for local governments in some areas and that helped a lot, but, in all, we are far from our goal, as much as 50 per cent,” Chuku disclosed.
In another development, the vice-chairman of the PCNI, Alhaji Tijjani Tumsah, told newsmen that he expected some traction and swift movement in the committee’s activities, following the inclusion of the sum of 45bn in the national budget for the committee to coordinate the activities of international and local NGOs, as well as other charity bodies intervening in the North-east.
“We are supposed to ensure that the ministries, departments, agencies and NGOs (whether international or local), use the resources budgeted for intervention in the region for that purpose and nothing else.
“We want to be able to coordinate them and ensure that their activities are well spread all over the region.When this is done, no area would be left out and we would be able to carry every locality along.”