Economic Hardship: “26.5 Million Nigerians Facing Acute Hunger” – Red Cross

Economic Hardship: “26.5 Million Nigerians Facing Acute Hunger” – Red Cross

The Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) has issued a stark warning, asserting that the nation’s hunger crisis has reached a critical level, necessitating urgent action and collective efforts to alleviate the plight of vulnerable individuals.

Dr. Abubakar Ahmed Kende, Secretary General of NRCS, sounded the alarm during a declaration made in Abuja, emphasizing the organization’s deep-seated concerns regarding the escalating food insecurity gripping the country. Kende stressed the imperative for government intervention in addressing the crisis.

The declaration comes amid widespread nationwide protests against food scarcity and the escalating cost of living. The protests, which have now reached Ibadan, saw hundreds of demonstrators defying police warnings to demand action against the prevailing hardships.

Speaking at the launch of a partnership between the Red Cross and Ecobank aimed at mobilizing local resources to address the hunger crisis in Abuja on Monday, Kende highlighted how skyrocketing fuel prices have triggered hyperinflation, resulting in food prices soaring beyond the means of many Nigerians.

Kende revealed that an alarming 26.5 million Nigerians, including women and children, are currently grappling with acute hunger, desperately requiring urgent assistance to avert fatalities and prolonged suffering. He cited factors such as insecurity, inflation, extreme weather patterns, and global conflicts as driving forces behind the crisis.

Asserting that the time for action is now, Kende emphasized the disproportionate impact of malnutrition on children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers, with nearly 4.41 million children and 585,000 mothers facing acute malnutrition. He lamented the grim reality that approximately 1,000 Nigerian children succumb daily to malnutrition-related causes.

In line with its mandate as outlined in the Nigerian Red Cross Act of 1960, which designates it as an auxiliary to the government in alleviating human suffering, NRCS is swiftly responding to mitigate the crisis. With a network of 800,000 community-based volunteers spread across all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, the organization stands ready to provide humanitarian aid, even in the most challenging conditions.

Kende urged individuals, groups, businesses, and organizations to unite in support of government efforts at all levels to address the crisis. Emphasizing the collective responsibility in tackling the humanitarian emergency, he stressed that united action could offer hope and save lives, paving the way for a brighter future amidst the prevailing challenges.

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