The United Nations Children’s Fund has estimated that 10.4m children in seven countries may face acute malnutrition in 2021.
“As 2021 approaches, UNICEF is deeply concerned for the health and well-being of 10.4m children projected to suffer from acute malnutrition next year in those countries,” it said in a statement.
The fund cited the affected countries to conclude the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Sudan, South Sudan, and Yemen.
It explained that ongoing insecurity in the DRC, socio-economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, and limited access to essential services would result in an estimated 3.3m children being at risk of acute malnutrition next year.
According to UNICEF, in Northeast Nigeria, more than 800,000 children are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition, including almost 300,000 estimated to be at imminent risk of death.
The highest number of children since 2013, some 1.4m, would face acute malnutrition in South Sudan, due to ongoing conflict, insecurity, as well as limited health care, water, and hygiene services.
In Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, the number of malnourished children could increase by 21 per cent to a staggering 2.9m amid conflict, displacement, and climate shocks in these Central Sahel countries.
UNICEF noted that more than two million children already suffered from acute malnutrition in Yemen and the figure was expected to rise in 2021.
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