The United Nations says 400,000 children are now at risk from a famine in the northeastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe – 75,000 of whom could die from hunger within the next few months.
A push against the fighters by the Nigerian army and soldiers from neighbouring countries has enabled troops to enter remote parts of the northeast in the last few months, revealing tens of thousands on the brink of starvation – and countless families torn apart.
“I don’t know if they are dead or alive,” Adamu, 35, said of her missing relatives.
There is a renewed threat of Boko Haram attacks. The start of the dry season has seen a surge in suicide bombings, some of which have targeted refugee camps, including one at Bakassi in October that killed five people.
The World Food Programme said it provides food aid to 450,000 people in Borno and Yobe. About 200,000 of them receive $54 each month to buy food, soon to rise to $73.