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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Malnutrition poses ‘silent threat’ to children, UNICEF, partners send 2017 appeal

An estimated 48 million children living through some of the world’s worst conflicts and other humanitarian emergencies will benefit from UNICEF’s 2017 appeal, which was launched on January 31, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Chief of Communication, UNICEF, Doune Porter, made this disclosure to NaijaAgroNet, saying that from Syria to Yemen and Iraq, from South Sudan to Nigeria, children are under direct attack, their homes, schools and communities in ruins, their hopes and futures hanging in the balance.

“In total, almost one in four of the world’s children lives in a country affected by conflict or disaster,” she said.

Buttressing this position, she quoted the UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes, Manuel Fontaine, as saying that “In country after country, war, natural disaster and climate change are driving ever more children from their homes, exposing them to violence, disease and exploitation.”

UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children, Porter pointed out had set out the agency’s 2017 appeal totaling $3.3 billion, and its goals in providing children with access to safe water, nutrition, education, health and protection in 48 countries across the globe. Stressing that an estimated 7.5 million children will face severe acute malnutrition across the majority of appeal countries, including almost half a million each in northeast Nigeria and Yemen.

“Malnutrition is a silent threat to millions of children. The damage it does can be irreversible, robbing children of their mental and physical potential. In its worst form, severe malnutrition can be deadly,” said Fontaine.   

UNICEF pointed out that the largest single component of the appeal is for children and families caught up in the Syria conflict, soon to enter its seventh year. UNICEF is seeking a total of $1.4 billion to support Syrian children inside Syria and those living as refugees in neighbouring countries.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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