The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has estimated that 400,000 children in Nigeria’s restive north east may suffer from severe acute malnutrition over the next year as about two-thirds of health facilities there have either been completely destroyed or partially damaged.
“If they do not receive the treatment they need, one in give of these children will die. Cases of diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia are on the rise, further endangering the children’s lives,” says Unicef Executive Director Anthony Lake in a statement.
“These figures represent only a fraction of the suffering. Large areas of Borno state are completely inaccessible to any kind of humanitarian assistance. We are extremely concerned about the children trapped in these areas,” he adds.
According to Unicef, in the worst affected states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, farming has been disrupted and crops destroyed, food reserves depleted and often pillaged, and livestock killed or abandoned.
Lake adds that Unicef programmes on vaccinations, safe water and sanitation, and treatment for acutely malnourished children are making a difference in the areas it is able to reach but these are “nowhere close to enough”.
“Without adequate resources and without safe access, we and our partners will be unable to reach children whose lives are at imminent risk,” he warns.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK