UNITED NATIONS Children Education Funds, UNICEF, says no fewer than 250,000 acutely malnourished children are at the verge of death unless they receive humanitarian assistance from the international community. The body, which appealed to its partners to come to the rescue of the malnourished children, alerted that those in Borno
particularly were at a high risk of death. In a statement issued by its Chief of Communications, Ms Doune Porter, on Friday in Abuja, it said that 250,000 children were severely malnourished, stating that the scaling of the humanitarian crisis was caused by Boko Haram insurgency. According to it, out of the over 244,000 children suffering from acute malnutrition in the state, one in every five children will die if they are not reached with treatment. The agency explained that as more areas in the North- East became accessible to
humanitarian assistance, the extent of the nutrition crisis affecting children became more apparent. The statement quoted Mr Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Regional Director for Western and Central Africa, as stating that 134 children may die every day from acute malnutrition if response was not scaled up quickly. Fontaine, who recently visited newly accessible sites in the state previously under Boko Haram control, witnessed destroyed towns accommodating displaced people and families. According to the statement,
these people have little access to adequate sanitation, water or food and thousands of frail children in desperate need of help. “There are two million people we are still not able to reach in Borno, which means that the true scope of this crisis has yet to be revealed to the world. “There are organisations on the ground doing great work, but none of us is able to work at the scale and quality that we need. We must all scale up. “UNICEF is working with partners to screen and treat children for malnutrition and improve access to water and
sanitation. “UNICEF’s humanitarian response also includes providing medical care, immunisation, education and psychological support to the children affected by violence,’’ it said. The statement noted that earlier this year, UNICEF appealed for 55.5 million dollars to respond to the humanitarian crisis in North-East Nigeria, adding that it had so far received 23 million dollars. It, however, appealed for increased funds as the agency “gains access to new areas with vast humanitarian needs in subsequent weeks’’.

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