United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF has listed Nigeria and 11 others as 12 hardest hit countries by food and nutrition crisis. The document indicated that 7.3 million adolescent girls and women, aged 15-49, in the most populous black nation, are undernourished. Others captured in the report include Afghanistan; Burkina Faso; Chad; Ethiopia; Kenya; Mali and Niger.

The rest are Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen. They represent the epicentres of a global nutrition crisis that has been worsened by negative impacts of COVID-19 and ongoing war in Ukraine, besides unrelenting drought, conflicts and instabilities in some of the affected nations.

Issued ahead of today’s International Women’s Day celebration, the report, titled, ‘Undernourished and Overlooked: A Global Nutrition Crisis in Adolescent Girls and Women’, warned that ongoing crises, aggravated by unending gender inequality, were deepening a nutrition disaster among adolescent girls and women that had already shown little improvement in the last two decades.

It revealed that the number of adolescent girls and women between the age of 15 and 49 years, who are undernourished in Nigeria, soared from 5.6 million in 2018 to 7.3 million by 2021.