Nigeria

3,000 Nigerians die daily of hunger: NGO

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Lagos, Mar 1, 2004 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- A non-governmental organization Food Aid International (FAI) has said that about 3,000 people die daily of hunger and poverty in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, local newspaper The Punch reported Monday.
The report quoted the survey conducted by the FAI as saying that out of the country's estimated population of 130 million, nearly 14 million go hungry daily, with half of them being underfed.

While presenting the result at a three-day symposium on Sustainable Rural Poverty Reduction and Food Security in Benin at the weekend, the FAI said poverty and lack of food were responsible for the high death toll among HIV/AIDS victims in the country.

It added that some of the victims lacked enough food to eat while on their drugs.

Statistics showed that 10 percent of the 40 million people infected by AIDS worldwide are Nigerians, making the country the second largest HIV/AIDS prevalence in Africa after South Africa or fourth in global prevalence.

The body said that the twin problems were more tragic when it was obvious that women and children, mostly in the rural area, were the hardest hit.

It blamed the federal government for not creating better economic environment for poverty reduction in the country.

The Nigerian federal government, which has identified poverty reduction as its core policy since President Olusegun Obasanjo came to power in May 1999, sets the year 2010 as the deadline for the overall target to eradicate absolute poverty.