255 mln USD needed to help children in looming famine: UNICEF
March 31,2017 By:Xinhua
UNITED NATIONS, March 31, 2017 -- Nearly 1.4 million children are at the risk of starvation in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen with famine looming, said the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Tuesday, calling for 255 million U.S. dollars to help relieve the situation.
UNICEF warned that the risk of famine is not limited to these four countries.
"As violence, hunger and thirst force people to move within and across borders, malnutrition rates will continue to soar in neighbouring countries as well," it said.
The UN agency noted that children fleeing homes have no access to health and nutrition services, clean water, or adequate sanitation and hygiene.
"Six years ago, at least 100,000 children died of a famine in the Horn of Africa because the world did not act soon enough," it warned, calling for quick actions to prevent famine and urgent funding for interventions.
"We need close to US$255 million to provide children with food, water, health, education and protection services for just the next few months," it said.
Last month, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres held a press conference to appeal for 5.6 billion U.S. dollars -- 4.4 billion of it by the end of next month -- to prevent famine in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen where 20 million people face famine. However, only a small portion of the fund has been located, according to the UN.