The United Nations (UN) has warned that 5.1 million Nigerians in the North-East might die of starvation in 2017. The warning was given by Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator of United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Peter Lundberg.

Lundberg gave the warning at the launch of the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria’s northeast region in Abuja.

“A projected 5.1 million people will face serious food shortages as the conflict and risk of unexploded improvised devices prevented farmers planting for a third year in a row, causing a major food crisis,” he said.

“During the course of 2016 as the Nigerian Armed Forces pushed back Boko Haram held areas, the scale of human suffering became more apparent and humanitarian community scaled up the responses.

“This is the largest crisis on the African continent and I am confident that with the support of the international community and the private sector, we can begin to bring hope to the people of the northeast,” he added.

Lundberg also said that the “narrative on this humanitarian crisis can no longer be ignored and we are appealing to the international community to help us prevent the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians over the coming 12 months.”

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