Of the 1.8 million people displaced in crisis-torn northeastern Nigeria, almost 1 million of them are children, UNICEF has said.
The organisation said this on Friday in a statement signed by Godfrey Njoku, its media and external relations officer.
The organisation said over 535 million children, almost one in four, live within crisis zones, causing them to be most vulnerable and undermine progress made in recent decades in terms of number of children dying before their fifth birthday.
“The emergencies faced today by the most vulnerable children threaten to undermine immense progress made in recent decades,” UNICEF said in the statement.
“Since 1990, the number of children dying before their fifth birthday halved and hundreds of millions of children have been lifted out of poverty. Out-of-school rates among primary-school-aged children have reduced by more than 40 per cent between 1990 and 2014.
“Despite significant progress, too many children are being left behind because of their gender, race, religion, ethnic group or disability; because they live in poverty or in hard-to-reach communities; or simply because they are children.”
UNICEF said Nigeria and other sub-Saharan African countries are home to “nearly three-quarters 393 million – of the global number of children living in countries affected by emergencies, followed by the Middle East and North Africa where 12 per cent of these children reside.”
It said progress needs to be sustained, as the development of children who live in countries that are crisis-filled is important to a functional society.