‘Boko Haram attacks force 1.4 mn children to flee homes’

United Nations, Sep 19 (IANS) The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that a sharp increase in attacks by Boko Haram over the past five months has uprooted half a million children, a UN spokesman told reporters here.

In northern Nigeria alone, 1.2 million children, more than half of them under 5, have been forced to flee their homes, Xinhua quoted UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric as saying on Friday.

Dujarric added that an additional 265,000 children were uprooted from Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

“Together with governments and partners in all four impacted countries, UNICEF has scaled up its operations,” he said.

More than 315,000 children have been vaccinated against measles. More than 200,000 people have received access to safe water. Some 65,000 displaced and refugee children have had access to education and are able to continue learning thanks to the delivery of school materials.”

UNICEF added that with more refugees and not enough resources, its ability to deliver lifesaving assistance on the ground is now seriously compromised.

The UN agency’s work in the West Africa region is almost 70 percent underfunded, having received only 32 percent of the $50.3 million needed for humanitarian efforts in 2015.

Because of this, more than 124,000 children in the conflict-torn area have not received measles vaccinations, more than 83,000 lack access to safe water, and over 208,000 are not in school.

–Indo-Asian News service

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