UNICEF Steps up Lifesaving Interventions for Children in North-Eastern Nigeria

June 18, 2014

NEW YORK (June 18, 2014) UNICEF is scaling up its support to conflict-affected communities in northeastern Nigeria to improve health, nutrition, and water and sanitation services.

 

In response to the ongoing violence in northern Nigeria, UNICEF has sent more than 1,000 basic health care kits to two conflict-affected states in North-eastern Nigeria—Borno and Yobe. The kits, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will cover the basic health needs of more than 400,000 people during a campaign this month.

At the same time, UNICEF is working to increase the number of primary health care centers it supports in the two states from 43 to 65. UNICEF will also procure essential medicines, medical supplies and equipment for the health centers, and help ensure the facilities operate six days a week to provide routine immunization, maternal health services and outpatient curative services.

Attacks on health facilities, water points and farms have severely affected local communities, especially children in Borno and Yobe. The project will integrate health services, nutrition and water and hygiene, with a focus on the most vulnerable mothers and children. UNICEF will, for example, support the construction of water and sanitation facilities around health care centers and in the communities.

The program also aims to treat 11,300 severely malnourished children in the two conflict-affected states, in addition to existing efforts to treat 200,000 children throughout northern Nigeria this year.

“The humanitarian needs are huge and there are only few humanitarian actors on the ground,” said Jean Gough, UNICEF’s Representative in Nigeria. “Hundreds of thousands of people have fled the violence, often after losing their homes and their livelihoods. Access to food, health services and water is a major issue,” she added.

Last week, UNICEF also provided three 2,000-liter tanks, blankets, mattresses, soap, and other basic items for the community of Chibok, in Borno state, where 284 schoolgirls were abducted in April and May.

UNICEF’s work in the region was made possible with funding from the government of Japan, the EU and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. But as the conflict continues in northern Nigeria, UNICEF will require additional funding to meet the needs of women and children in the region.

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About UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to save and improve children’s lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when zero children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood.

For additional information, please contact:

Susannah Masur, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.880.9146, smasur@unicefusa.org