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News > Kenya

UNICEF: + 7 Million Malnourished Children in Horn of Africa

  • Living conditions in the  Horn of Africa. May. 23, 2023.

    Living conditions in the Horn of Africa. May. 23, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@agk4444

Published 23 May 2023

"The crisis in the Horn has been devastating for children"

On Monday, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) issued a statement pertaining to the children residing in the Horn of Africa, highlighting that they are currently confronting an unparalleled crisis that encompasses widespread malnutrition, displacement, water scarcity, as well as a highly unstable and insecure environment.

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According to UNICEF, over 7 million children under five continue to suffer from malnutrition, necessitating urgent nutrition aid, and 1.9 million boys and girls are at risk of dying from severe malnutrition.

The region is gradually recovering from a severe drought that inflicted substantial damage. Due to the insufficient precipitation experienced over the last three years, communities that are susceptible to environmental factors have encountered severe losses in their livestock, harvest, and overall means of subsistence.

"The crisis in the Horn has been devastating for children," said Mohamed Fall, UNICEF regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa.

"Over the past three years, communities have been forced to take extreme measures to survive, with millions of children and families leaving their homes out of pure desperation in search of food and water. This crisis has deprived children of the essentials of childhood -- having enough to eat, a home, safe water, and going to school," said Mohamed.

According to reports, 23 million people are encountering severe levels of acute food insecurity in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. The number of severely malnourished children seeking treatment in the first quarter of this year remains much higher than last year and will likely remain high for quite a while.

As per statements of various reports, the contiguous region is currently experiencing persistent outbreaks of major outbreaks such as cholera, measles, and malaria, among others.

UNICEF has also said that the elevated costs of food persist within domestic marketplaces, imposing significant hardships upon both minors and households.

The escalating climate crisis is exacerbating the gravity of the current predicament, further intensifying the prevalence of mass migration, malnourishment, and illness.

According to Mohamed, donations made to UNICEF facilitated the provision of preventative measures and interventions for malnutrition to a staggering 30 million children and mothers in 2022.

"This year, further flexible funding will not just help children recover from a crisis of this magnitude, but also go towards developing more resilient, sustainable systems for children in the region, that can withstand future climate impacts and other shocks," Mohamed said.


Mohamed Fall
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