When Boko Haram kidnapped five of his children and took away all his possessions, Bintu's husband could not take it – he died of complications from his hypertension.
The family had just returned to their home in northeastern Nigeria after spending months on the run, moving from village to village with nowhere to sleep, trying to escape the violence.
After her husband's death, Bintu – left to care for her five children on her own – had to flee again. "They took everything from us including our clothes. They kept us without food and water," she says.
Now living in in Dikwa, Bintu and her family are among the hundreds of thousands of people the World Food Programme (WFP) is supporting through its rapid response mechanism in Borno state.
Under this, specialist teams fly into remote, hard-to-reach areas where they remain for up to seven days. Food is trucked in and handed out at distribution centres.
“We were hungry before, but with the food we are receiving [from WFP] our condition has improved. If this food assistance stopped we would not have any recourse except begging," Bintu says, describing how she and her children were forced to beg food off neighbours and passers-by. She is also suffering from high blood pressure.
Coupled with the challenges of extreme poverty, underdevelopment and climate change in the Lake Chad Region, Boko Haram violence has led to one of the most acute humanitarian crises in the world.
Like Bintu, some 1.9 million people have been forced out of their homes in Nigeria due to conflict and insecurity. Almost 200,000 have sought shelter in neighbouring countries. Many have lost everything they owned. In the worst affected areas, in the northeast of the country, famine looms for 120,000 people.
In March, WFP provided assistance to over 1.2 million people in the northeast, for the fourth consecutive month since December 2016.
As malnutrition rises to alarming levels, WFP complements its general food distributions by providing specialized nutritious food to children aged under 5, and pregnant and nursing women.
Thanks to WFP, Yagana Modu (below, right), a mother in Monguno, Borno State, can feed her daughter Plumpy'Sup, a ready-to-eat nutrition supplement designed to combat malnutrition.
"We are grateful for this support," Bintu says . "We pray that WFP will increase food rations as they are not sufficient for now."
Her hopes – and those of so many others – are pinned on WFP receiving the necessary funding. To continue its life-saving operations through September, WFP requires US$ 242 million.
Baba Gana Mai Abba, is a father of 12. He lost his home after fleeing to a nearby village to escape Boko Haram violence.
He is among those that WFP is assisting.
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