Children continue to face rapidly deteriorating situations in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria

Help UNICEF provide lifesaving support for children in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria. Please make a tax deductible donation by the end of this financial year (30 June 2017): https://www.unicef.org.au/appeals/stop-famine-save-lives
 
SYDNEY, 27 June 2017 - A staggering 1.4 million children across Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria are in immediate danger of death from severe malnutrition, with millions more facing illness due to hunger, thirst, disease and displacement.
 
Extreme conflict and drought have led to prolonged food insecurity and instability, and with no reprieve in sight, parts of all four countries are currently on the brink of famine.
 
The situation is expected to deteriorate even further as the lean season peaks in July – the time of year when household food supplies typically run out before the next harvest.
 
“Swift and significant action over the last few months from UNICEF and our partners has managed to avert catastrophe for many across Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria but we are not out of danger yet and the needs remain critical,” said Tony Stuart, CEO at UNICEF Australia.
 
“These crises are hitting children the hardest. Without enough decent food to eat, they’re succumbing to severe acute malnutrition and are left vulnerable to cholera, measles and other diseases as they search for scarce and unsafe water.
 
“The huge numbers of families and communities forced to flee their homes and countries has also led to increased dangers, for children in particular.”
 
UNICEF is on the ground working around the clock to save as many lives as we can, as fast as we can. Across Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, UNICEF is working with partners to:
 
  • Treat severely malnourished children with therapeutic food - a peanut paste specially formulated with the micronutrients children need to survive and grow
  • Support mobile health clinics to reach children in remote communities with life-saving medical care and immunisations
  • Provide safe water, sanitation and hygiene supplies to stop the spread of disease 
Saving lives is the first priority. At the same time, UNICEF is working with communities and our partners to build their longer-term resilience to shocks.
 
Mr Stuart added, “As each day passes the extreme suffering of children and families increases across these four countries. But it doesn't have to be this way.
 
“We need continued support from donors in Australia and around the world to sustain the humanitarian assistance we have been providing for children, families and communities. Without that continued support we won’t be able to reach every child in need.
 
“The month of June is synonymous with the end of the financial year in Australia. We are calling on all Australians to donate what they can before 30 June to claim a tax deduction for this financial year, while enabling UNICEF to reach even more children in need. Now more than ever UNICEF needs your help so please donate what you can at www.unicef.org.au"
 
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Notes to editors
Multimedia including photos, video and b-roll can be found here: http://weshare.unicef.org/Package/2AMZIFDD22Q

UNICEF spokespeople are available across Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria.
Australian spokespeople are available in East Africa (Kenya) and Nigeria.

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For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.au

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For more information please contact:
Charlotte Glennie, UNICEF Australia, 04 20407886, cglennie@unicef.org.au