Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) on Friday said the humanitarian crisis brought on North-east Nigeria by the protracted Boko Haram insurgency is dire, leaving three million children in need of emergency education support.
Speaking to journalists in Maiduguri after an assessment tour of Borno State, the state most hit by the crisis, the Deputy Director of UNICEF, Justin Forsyth, said the humanitarian crisis is beyond UNICEF and need the collaboration of all including governments and international aid agencies.
He lamented that 57 per cent of schools in Borno alone are closed to the crisis, even as the new school year has begun, adding that across the North-east, over 2,295 teachers have been killed and 19,000 others displaced since the crisis erupted over six years ago.
Forsyth who stated that three million children are in need of emergency education support at the start of the new academic year just starting, added almost 1,400 schools were destroyed in the crisis with the majority still unable to open because of extensive damage or because they are in areas that remain unsafe.
He said: “Children in North-east Nigeria are living through so much horror. In addition to devastating malnutrition, violence and an outbreak of cholera, the attacks on schools is in danger of creating a lost generation of children, threatening their and the country’s future.”