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Malnutrition and Severe Food Insecurity Spike in North Cameroon amid Boko Haram Conflict

This month, 70 children suffering from malnutrition have needed medical attention at the Minawao refugee camp which is home to more than 50,000 refugees

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Thousands of Nigerian refugees, fleeing fighting, have arrived at the Minawao camp in Cameroon, March 3, 2015. VOA
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  • In October, 70 children suffering from malnutrition have needed medical attention at the Minawao refugee camp
  • Cameroon’s Ministry of Public Health and the United Nations say more than 100,000 children in northern Cameroon currently suffer from acute malnutrition
  • The mass displacement, including the influx of refugees from neighbouring countries, has only made the situation worse

Aid agencies are sounding the alarm about severe food insecurity throughout northern Cameroon as a result of the Boko Haram conflict.This month, 70 children suffering from malnutrition have needed medical attention at the Minawao refugee camp. However, says nurse Irene Mbarga, the hospital has limited resources to treat them.

The families are not able to provide enough food, she says, and malnutrition is making other health conditions worse.

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Mbarga told VOA that about three quarters of the cases the hospital sees are related to malnutrition. When the hospital is running short on supplies, she says, the staff can only provide first aid.

malnutrition
A family of refugees that fled their homes due to violence from the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram sit inside a refugee camp in Minawao, Cameroon, Feb. 25, 2015. VOA

The Minawao camp is home to more than 50,000 refugees, a majority of them women and children. More displaced people live in host communities.

Dr. Abdoul Mustapha of the Cameroon medical council in Mokollo, far northern Cameroon, says local residents also have been bringing their children to the refugee camp hospital. Local health clinics are not set up to deal with malnutrition.

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The rate of simple malnutrition has increased from 7 percent last year to nearly 12 percent now, Mustapha says. Cases of severe acute malnutrition also are on the rise, signaling an emergency.

Cameroon’s Ministry of Public Health and the United Nations say more than 100,000 children in northern Cameroon currently suffer from acute malnutrition.

This part of Cameroon was already grappling with high rates of chronic malnutrition, as much as 30 percent among children, before the Boko Haram conflict arrived in 2014. The mass displacement, including the influx of refugees from neighboring countries, has only made the situation worse. In addition, insecurity has made farming impossible in some areas, while herders have lost their animals to insurgents.

A Cameroonian police officer enforces order in Minawao, Cameroon, March 15, 2016. VOA
A Cameroonian police officer enforces order in Minawao, Cameroon, March 15, 2016. VOA

“The situation of malnutrition, or food insecurity, reflects not only the fact that we are not able to grow sufficient or enough food, but we do not have the access to that and we do not have sufficient means in order to maintain access to health services, in order to maintain and address young people when they have diarrhea, for example,” said Barbara Sow, the Cameroon representative of the U.N. Fund for Population Assistance.

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“So the challenge for the U.N. is making the link between a humanitarian response today, bringing it food so that young children and families can eat today, but making sure that they have the means by which tomorrow, they are not in the same position,” she added. (VOA)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)