United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned that if urgent measures are not put in place by the Federal Government to scale up response, on the average, 134 children will die every day from causes associated with acute malnutrition in the north east.
UNICEF Regional Director for Western and Central Africa, Manuel Fontaine, who returned few days ago from a visit to Borno State called on partners and donors to step forward to prevent more children from dying.
A statement by UNICEF’s Chief of Communication, Doune Porter, further disclosed that out of the 244,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in Borno, an estimated 49,000 children – almost 1 in 5 – will die if they are not reached with treatment.
According to the statement: “Some 134 children on the average will die every day from causes linked to acute malnutrition if the response is not scaled up quickly.
“We need all partners and donors to step forward to prevent any more children from dying. No one can take on a crisis of this scale alone.”
UNICEF further lamented that: “There are 2 million people we are still not able to reach in Borno state, which means that the true scope of this crisis has yet to be revealed to the world.
“There are organizations on the ground doing great work, but none of us are able to work at the scale and quality that we need. We must all scale up,” Fontaine further said.
While visiting newly accessible sites, previously under Boko Haram control, Fontaine disclosed that, she witnessed destroyed towns accommodating displaced people, families with little access to adequate sanitation, water or food, and thousands of frail children in desperate need of help.
As more areas in the northeast become accessible to humanitarian assistance, the extent of the nutrition crisis affecting children, she said, is becoming even more apparent.