Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General

The United Nations has estimated that about 4.4 billion U.S dollars will be needed before the end of March this year, to avert catastrophic hunger and famine in Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen. This was disclosed  by UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres on Wednesday.

He said so far, about  $90 million has been collected which was grossly inadequate to cater for the over 20 million people at risk of starvation due to prolonged wars and incessant civil unrests.

At a briefing held at the UN headquarters, Guterres raised concerns over the lack of food in the four nations, adding that their plights have been compounded by violent conflicts and drought, especially in Somalia.

Last month, a UN humanitarian coordinator said  the seven-year uprising by the Islamic extremist group, Boko Haram has led to increased malnutrition in the north-eastern region of Nigeria to the extent that some adults were too weak to walk while some ravaged communities have lost all their toddlers.