UN: Crisis in Niger increases risk for millions of children

The UN’s children’s fund has stated that the crisis in Niger, where the president was ousted on July 26th, is heightening dangers for millions of at-risk young individuals.

“The current situation is of great concern and adds a heavy burden to an already dire humanitarian landscape,” UNICEF’s Niger representative, Stefano Savi, said in a statement.

“At present, more than two million children have been impacted by the crisis and are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.”

In a statement dated Saturday, he mentioned that even prior to the recent upheaval, approximately 1.5 million children below the age of five were projected to experience malnourishment in 2023.

The Sahel state, situated without access to the sea, is consistently positioned as one of the world’s most unstable and economically disadvantaged nations.

On July 26, the democratically elected president of the country, Mohamed Bazoum, was overthrown, leading to global criticism and trade sanctions imposed by neighboring nations of Niger.

UNICEF affirmed its ongoing commitment to offer assistance, despite encountering increasing challenges.

Concerns were raised regarding the absence of electricity, a vital factor in maintaining the proper temperature for preserving childhood vaccines and other essential items.

Furthermore, there was apprehension voiced about 21 shipments of “life-saving supplies” stranded at the Benin border and the port of Cotonou. An additional 29 containers destined for Niger, containing emergency food and syringes, are presently in transit at sea.

“UNICEF urgently calls on all parties to the crisis to ensure that humanitarian workers and supplies safely reach the most vulnerable children and families where urgently needed,” said Savo.

“We also ask that critical humanitarian programmes are safeguarded against the impact of sanctions and funding cuts.”

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