Following an attack on January 14 that devastated the north-eastern Nigerian city of Rann, an estimated 30,000 people fled to the Goura region in Cameroon, the humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger reports. Most of them are women, children and seniors, the NGO said in a statement.
According to an emergency team of the organization, four percent of an estimated 975 refugee children under five years of age were identified as having severe acute malnutrition while nearly eight percent had moderate acute malnutrition.
'Humanitarian assistance needs to be reinforced'
The organization's representative in Cameroon, Aurélie Carmeille, said that "evaluations conducted by Action Against Hunger teams in Goura were particularly worrying." In fact, "over 4 percent of the children under five who fled the city of Rann suffered from severe acute malnutrition which required immediate medical treatment", she said, noting that the percentage "represents twice the emergency threshold."
The NGO was already present on the ground to assist displaced people in Cameroon. Action Against Hunger has two mobile clinics to diagnose and treat children who are malnourished and provide basic healthcare assistance.
Children with severe acute malnutrition were treated by the organization. "It is essential to help the new arrivals and humanitarian assistance needs to be reinforced", stressed Carmeille. Action Against Hunger reports that this new wave of refugees who reached the Goura region joined 102,000 Nigerian refugees who were already present in Cameroon.
Civilians in the region "are paying a heavy price for the new escalation of violence in north-eastern Nigeria" which has already displaced over 2.5 million people across the region of Lake Chad. Over 3.5 million are currently experiencing food insecurity problems, the NGO said.