REPORTS FROM United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF, has revealed that 49,000 children may die in northeast Nigeria this year, if aids fail to get to them. The grim figure include 475,000 children the UN body says are at risks around Lake Chad face due to “severe acute malnutrition” caused by drought and the seven-year Boko Haram insurgency. United Nations’ child agency is appealing for $308 million to cope with the crisis.
However, to date, UNICEF said it had only received $41 million, 13 percent of what it needs to help those affected in the four countries – Chad, Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon – that border Lake Chad.
UNICEF said that as Nigerian government forces captured and secured territory, aid officials were starting to piece together the scale of the humanitarian disaster left behind in the group’s wake. “Towns and villages are in ruins and communities have no access to basic services,” UNICEF said in a report.
In Borno, nearly two thirds of hospitals and clinics had been partially or completely destroyed and three-quarters of water and sanitation facilities needed to be rehabilitated.
Despite the military gains, UNICEF said, 2.2 million people remain trapped in areas under the control of Boko Haram – which is trying to establish a caliphate in the southern reaches of the Sahara – or are staying in camps, fearful of going home.