Non-governmental organisation, Save the Children International, says 60m children who need help to survive this year, representing half of all the children in need globally, live in just eight countries, including Nigeria.
According to the international non-governmental organisation, Nigeria accounts for 4,250,000 children out of this worrisome figure.
Other countries among the eight countries are: Yemen 10,935,000; Democratic Republic Congo 10,192,000; Ethiopia 10,011,000; Afghanistan 9,700,000.
Also on the list are: Sudan 6,164,000; Syria 4,680,000 and Pakistan 4,305,000.
In a release signed on Tuesday by the Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children International, Ms. Inger Ashing, the NGO called for concerted and immediate global response in 2021 to ensure that last year’s setbacks do not permanently impact an entire generation of children in years to come.
The organisation says COVID-19 has put decades of progress for the world’s most vulnerable children at risk.
It states that weak health systems were impacted as children saw their parents or teachers being taken away to hospitals with the virus.
The NGO notes that children went hungry as families were plunged into poverty because breadwinners lost their income.
According to the United Nations, more than 235m people – an estimated half of them children – will need some form of humanitarian assistance this year, up from 170m in 2020.
This, according to Save the Children is a dramatic 40 percent increase in less than a year.
“Of the roughly 117.7m children who need life-saving support in 2021, more than half (60m) live in just eight countries, with Yemen, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo accounting for more than 10m children each”, the NGO said.
Its CEO, Ashing said, “2021 can be better, or far worse, than 2020 for children – it completely depends on humanity coming together to fight for every child to survive, learn, thrive, and be protected against violence.
“There is no excuse for children going hungry day-after-day, being forced to work to put food on the table, or denied their right to education.
“We are particularly worried about the numbers of children at risk of acute and severe malnutrition if we fail to act now. We can’t ignore the clear warning signs of dangerous food shortages and a risk of famine in many countries, including Yemen, DRC, South Sudan, and parts of Nigeria.
“Even before the pandemic, children were facing a triple-threat to their rights from conflict, climate change and hunger. If we delay action, we risk losing thousands – potentially tens of thousands – of children from entirely preventable causes.”
She further noted, “We cannot let that happen. To help tackle the biggest threat to children’s survival and other rights in living memory, Save the Children is launching a $769m plan to reach 15.7m people including 9.4 million children in 37 countries.
“Save the Children is working hard to ensure that in 2021, children affected by crisis can access education and are protected from violence, exploitation, and other forms of abuse.”
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