Kinshasa — MILLIONS of children living in areas affected by conflict and disaster are at risk of violence, abuse, malnutrition and lack of education amid shortages in funding for life-saving humanitarian programmes.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) disclosed it had received only more than half of the US$4,16 billion (R61 billion) it needs for the protection of the 41 million children in 59 countries this year.
Emergencies with the largest funding gaps in the continent include Burkina Faso, Cameroon, and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
DRC is the worst affected as it faces multiple outbreaks of Ebola and measles, which mainly claim children's lives.
Henrietta Fore, the UNICEF Executive Director, said the consequences for children would be dire if these funding gaps persist through the end of the year.
"While we continue to appeal for an end to conflicts and better readiness to emergencies, we need additional donor support to help us meet children's most basic needs," she said.
UNICEF launched its 2019 global humanitarian appeal in January, asking for $3,9 billion (R57 billion).
The humanitarian funding needs have soared because of emerging or worsening crises in several countries, mainly the African continent.