UNICEF has ranked Nigeria as a country not safe for children.
The country was ranked as ‘extremely high risk’ of the impacts of climate change with dire consequences on children.
According to UNICEF’s Children’s Climate Risk Index (CCRI), Nigeria ranks second out of 163 countries.
In a statement by the UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Cristian Munduate, children in such ‘extremely high risk’ countries face a deadly combination of exposure to multiple climate and environmental shocks combined with high levels of underlying child vulnerability, due to inadequate essential services, such as water and sanitation, healthcare and education.
It also revealed more than 2.5 million people in Nigeria are in need of humanitarian assistance out of which 1.5m are children, representing 60 per cent of the figure.
UNICEF said, “Children are at increased risk of waterborne diseases, drowning and malnutrition due to the most severe flooding in the past decade, UNICEF warned today.”
It explained that floods, which have affected 34 out of the 36 states in the country, have displaced 1.3 million people, over 600 lost their lives and over 200,000 houses either partially or fully damaged.
“Cases of diarrhoea and water-borne diseases, respiratory infection, and skin diseases have already been on the rise. In the north-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe alone, a total of 7,485 cases of cholera and 319 associated deaths were reported as of 12 October.
As rains are expected to continue for several weeks, humanitarian needs are also expected to rise.”
It further added that the organization was working closely with the Government and other partners to provide life-saving assistance to those who are most in need.