Africa

Leader pledges to rid Nigeria of hunger, omits worst crisis

  • FILE- In this Monday, Aug. 29, 2016 file photo, a doctor feeds a malnourished child at a feeding centre run by Doctors Without Borders in Maiduguri, Nigeria. As many as 75,000 children will die over the next year in famine-like conditions created by Boko Haram if donors don’t respond quickly, the U.N. Children’s Fund is warning. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)

    FILE- In this Monday, Aug. 29, 2016 file photo, a doctor feeds a malnourished child at a feeding centre run by Doctors Without Borders in Maiduguri, Nigeria. As many as 75,000 children will die over the next year in famine-like conditions created by Boko Haram if donors don’t respond quickly, the U.N. Children’s Fund is warning. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Nigerian white cap chiefs take a selfie during the 56th anniversary celebrations of Nigerian independence, in Lagos, Nigeria, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

    Nigerian white cap chiefs take a selfie during the 56th anniversary celebrations of Nigerian independence, in Lagos, Nigeria, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)  (The Associated Press)

  • Members of the Nigerian police force attend the 56th anniversary celebrations of Nigerian independence, in Lagos, Nigeria, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba) (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

    Members of the Nigerian police force attend the 56th anniversary celebrations of Nigerian independence, in Lagos, Nigeria, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba) (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)  (The Associated Press)

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is promising to drive hunger out of Africa's most populous nation but made no mention of a conflict-driven famine threatening to kill tens of thousands of children.

The United Nations has warned 75,000 children could die of starvation in a year if speedy action isn't taken in northeast Nigeria, where underfunded aid agencies say 4.4 million people need food and 65,000 are living in famine-like conditions amid Boko Haram's Islamic insurgency.

It's among numerous emergencies besetting a nation in recession and also fighting southern oil militants.

Buhari, marking Nigeria's independence from Britain on Saturday, promised initiatives that "will revive the economy, restore the value of the naira (currency) and drive hunger from our land."