United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has disclosed that over 10 million children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), northeastern part of Nigeria, the Central Sahel, South Sudan, and Yemen will encounter acute malnutrition in 2021.
A statement issued by UNICEF said all these countries and regions are encountering “dire humanitarian crises”, while also fighting against intensifying food insecurity, COVID-19 pandemic and if Central Sahel is exempted, “a looming famine.”
The Executive Director of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore said: “For countries reeling from the consequences of conflicts, disasters and climate change, Covid-19 has turned a nutrition crisis into an imminent catastrophe.
“Families already struggling to feed their children and themselves are now on the brink of famine. We can’t let them be the forgotten victims of 2020.”
Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 in 2020, UNICEF and its partners still gave lifesaving support to the most vulnerable children and their families in areas that were not easy to reach via adjusting the existing programs to maintain and increase access.
UNICEF has called on humanitarian actors in these countries and international community to urgently widen access to and support for food, health and water and sanitation services for children.
Also, UNICEF has appealed for over $1 billion to aid its lifesaving nutrition programs for children who live in countries that are affected by humanitarian crises in 2021.