Tuesday, January 26, 2021

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UNICEF raises alarm over COVID-19 threats to children

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United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has raised the alarm over the impact of Coronavirus on children, saying it threatens to cause “irreversible harm to children’s education, nutrition and well-being.”

In a statement to commemorate the World Children’s Day, made available to The Guardian in Akure, yesterday, by Mrs. Blessing Ejiofor, the UNICEF Communication Officer, Lagos office, the agency warned that it might lead to a “Lost generation.”

Ejiofor noted that the document, titled:  “Averting a Lost COVID Generation,” is the first UNICEF report to comprehensively outline the dire and growing consequences for children as the pandemic drags on. 

According to her, “it shows that while symptoms among infected children remain mild, infections are rising and the longer-term impact on the education, nutrition and well-being of an entire generation of children and young people can be life-altering.”

She highlighted the new data from UNICEF surveys across 140 countries as COVID-related disruptions pose the most serious threat in respect of critical health and social services for children to children.

Meanwhile, Cross River State government has attributed its inability to meet with the demands of children in the state in-line with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) requirement to paucity of funds.

The Commissioner for Women’s Affairs, Mrs. Rita Agbo Ayim, said that all the issues raised by the children in-line with UNICEF requirement “are of necessity for us but the funding is driven by the commitment of the income that comes to the state. The COVID-19 and other things have caused the income to the state to be very low.”
  
UNICEF Chief of Field Office, Enugu, Dr. Ibtrahim Conteh said, “we need more public finances for children and the government should begin to see child welfare, education and others as a big deal while UNICEF on its part “we will continue our commitment and it is not ending until your voices are heard. We will continue to pursue government to meet demands for children.”

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