United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) says it has provided primary health services to 2,627,536 conflict-affected people in Nigeria.
The UN agency said it provided the health services through the Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC).
UNICEF provided this information in Nigeria Humanitarian Situation Report 2020, highlighting the achievements and challenges of its humanitarian assistance in the country for the year 2020.
According to the report, the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has greatly increased with 140,000 in the northeast with movements majorly influenced by conflicts, insecurity and poor living conditions.
In the northwest, 186,820 people in Sokoto, Zamfara, and Katsina were recorded to have been displaced as of August 2020, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
Development Diaries understands that Nigeria’s total number of IDPs as estimated by IOM stands at 2,922,133.
This has given rise to the number of people needing humanitarian assistance as over 7.9 million people, including 4.6 million children, need treatment for malaria, acute respiratory infection (ARI), acute watery diarrhoea (AWD), measles and other medical conditions.
With a total of $82 million received in 2020, UNICEF said it provided measles vaccination for 238,623 children, vitamin A supplementation for 153,343 children, and support for a safe delivery for 32,827 women through the HAC programme.
Also, since the beginning of 2020, a total of 272,799 children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) have accessed treatment at UNICEF supported treatment centres in northeast and northwest states, representing 60 percent of UNICEF’s target for 2020.
Despite these achievements, UNICEF says lack of adequate funding, the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, and escalated violence between Non-State Armed Groups (NSAGs) and the government all prevented the agency from reaching 3.8 million people.
Though 96 percent of UNICEF’s target for SAM treatment in the northeast was met, only 25,916 children accessed treatment in the two northwest states of Sokoto and Zamfara due to accessibility and low funding issues.
HAC seeks to provide conflict and disaster-affected children with access to water, sanitation, nutrition, education, health and protection services.
Photo source: UNICEF