• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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COVID-19: 4.2m Nigerian children in need of life-saving support

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At least 4.25 million Nigerian children are in need of life-saving support to survive 2021, following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Save the Children International, has said.

According to the international foundation, these vulnerable children are at risk of acute malnutrition, hunger, dropping out of school forever, child abuse, violence among others. The foundation called for concerted and immediate response to ensure the 2020 setbacks do not permanently impact an entire generation for years to come.

Save the Children International also warned that severe food shortages and potential famines loom in Nigeria and several other countries.

Inger Ashing, CEO, Save the Children in a statement on Tuesday, said a total of 60 million children need lifesaving support in 8 countries, to include, Nigeria, Yemen, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Syria and Pakistan.

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Globally, she said over 170 million children will need some form of humanitarian assistance in 2021. “That’s a dramatic 40 percent increase in less than a year,” she said.

The CEO said the figure was arrived at based on information from national Human Resource Planning (HRP) or was calculated by extrapolating the under-18 populations in the countries for which detailed national HRP data was not yet available, using UN data on the total number of people in need.

Ashing noted that Covid-19 has put decades of progress for the world’s most vulnerable children at risk. Weak health systems were impacted as children saw their parents or teachers being taken away to hospitals with the virus and children went hungry as families were plunged into poverty because breadwinners lost their income.

“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, learns, thrives, 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.