Alwaght- The number of children suffering dire drought conditions across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia has more than doubled in five months, topping 20. Million, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Around 20.2 million children are now facing the threat of severe hunger, thirst and disease, compared to 10 million in July, as climate change, conflict, global inflation and grain shortages devastate the region, the body noted, adding the drought is the most severe in "more than two generations".
"Humanitarian assistance must be continued to save lives and build the resilience of the staggering number of children and families who are being pushed to the edge – dying from hunger and disease and being displaced in search of food, water and pasture for their livestock," said UNICEF Deputy Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa Lieke van de Wiel.
It is estimated that almost two million children in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are in need of urgent treatment for the deadliest form of hunger – severe acute malnutrition.
The organization also underlined that "approximately 2.7 million children are out of school because of the drought, with an additional estimated four million children at risk of dropping out."
UNICEF appealed for $759 million in funding to provide life-saving support to children next year.
Earlier, the UN issued its Global Humanitarian Overview, noting that around 339 million people in the world will be in need of humanitarian assistance and protection in 2023, calling the figure a "phenomenal" and "depressing" number.